Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Could Basil of Baker Street Be Mixed-Handed?

So, today I was looking at stills of the Disney movie, The Great Mouse Detective. In looking at the images I thought that I would perhaps create a trivia question based on which hand was his dominant, but looking at what he did with both hands I decided it wasn't quite as simple as I had thought.

While it would seem at first glance that he is dominantly right-handed he does not seem to do everything that normally would be done be a 'right-hander.'

For instance I say that he is predominantly right-handed because of instances like this (image below), where he is using his right hand to control his pipe--which he is using almost as a finger or pointing stick to make a point. This would be much more likely to occur with someone who is right-handed.

Also, he shakes hands with Dawson with his right hand (image below.) While this could be because Dawson is right-handed and Basil is matching him, again it is more likely if he is right handed.

In addition he holds a gun in his right hand, supporting it with his left (image below.)

Here when he holds the girl in his left arm while he uses his right to climb (image below.)

When he turns on his Bunsen Burner with his right hand (image below.)

Yet, often he is seen using his left hand for a task that someone who is right-handed would rarely do with their 'weaker' hand. Sometimes delicate tasks which people usually will switch the items in their hands to accomplish. One example of this is with his using his left hand to light his pipe (image and gif below.) Usually when someone lights a pipe they will hold the pipe in their non-dominant hand and light it with their dominant. This is usually instinctual as well as inherently both practical and safer, for the dominant hand will be steadier with the flame while the non-dominant can manage the holding of a pipe to be lit.

Also, when he is holding a piece of paper and his magnifying glass (image below) he is holding the paper with his right hand and the magnifying glass in his left... it would be more likely that he would use his right hand to hold the magnifying glass than his left if he were strictly right-handed--though it is not impossible for the other to occur, he would most certainly have had to have either been holding the paper first or have adjusted his hands for the light.

One of the biggest pieces of evidence is his holding his violin bow in his left hand when he plays, that makes the bow a left-handed bow (images below,) and yet in this same movie he shoots a gun with his right hand which a left-handed person would not be apt to do--note I think he might also for a moment use his bow with his right hand but am not positive.

Now, while I could compile more evidence (from face palms to toy horse charging) that this Mouse Detective is not particularly dominant with one hand or the other I cannot compile any evidence to his being ambidextrous. Therefore--with no academic evidence to support my conclusion--I would say that Basil of Baker Street is at the very least mixed-handed.

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