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|“||Don't let anything in... or out.||„|
|~ Cecil warning Larry|
|“||Oh, yes. He's the one.||„|
|~ Cecil on Larry Daley before giving out his Evil Grin.|
Cecil "C.J." Fredericks is the hidden main antagonist in the film Night at the Museum, and a minor character in its threequel. He was portrayed by Dick Van Dyke who had played Mr. Dawes Sr. in Mary Poppins and D.A. Fletcher in Dick Tracy.
Cecil is an old, white-haired man. He often wears a scarf around his black sweater, but he does wear a gray suit while doing his job.
He is an evil, corrupt, and manipulative night guard who pretended to be friends with Larry Daley. He and his colleagues tried to frame him to get what he wants, which led to his fate. He, however, did reform in the threequel.
The only thing known about his early life was that in Egypt, he was a participant in an archeological expedition where they discovered the Tablet of Ahkmenrah. Cecil discovered the tomb of Ahkmanrah's family accidentally when he plunged into a hidden pit that was later revealed to be the tomb entrance. His interests in the tablet begin here.
Night at the Museum
By the time of the first film, Cecil is over 80 years old, and had served in a library, and then a museum.
In the first film, he is an elderly night security guard about to retire from the American Museum of Natural History. He hires Larry despite his unpromising résumé. Because of recent financial troubles, the museum plans to replace Cecil and his two colleagues, Gus and Reginald, with one night guard. They advise Larry to leave some of the lights on, and warn him not to let anything "in...or out".
Once night comes, Larry discovers that the exhibits come to life, which Cecil did not tell him since Larry won't believe him at first. After his instruction manual got ripped apart by Dexter, the film's tertiary antagonist, Cecil gave Larry an advice to study history on the Internet of Things to prepare himself better. The next night, Larry uses what he has learned to better control the exhibits; however, things go awry, and one of the exhibits, a Neanderthal man, went outside when sunset came and has turned into dust. Dr. McPhee almost fires Larry in the morning, but gives him one more night.
Larry brings his son, Nicky, to the museum to show him the exhibits come to life, but nothing happens. They investigate and catch Cecil, Gus, and Reginald in the act of stealing the tablet and other valuable objects, as they reveal their true colors. Like the exhibits, the guards receive enhanced vitality from the artifact; wishing to retain their health and fund their retirements, the three plan to frame Larry for the real thefts, and disabled the tablet to stop the exhibits from interfering. Nicky reactivates the tablet, but Cecil and his henchmen lock him and his father in the Egyptian room, and flee with the tablet.
Larry releases Ahkmenrah's mummy from his sarcophagus. The pharaoh speaks English from many years as an exhibit at Cambridge, and helps Larry and Nick escape. The three find the other exhibits fighting all over the lobby, and Larry convinces them to work together. Although some of the exhibits capture Gus and Reginald without any difficulties, their boss, Cecil, escapes by stagecoach with Larry, Nicky, Ahkmenrah, Jedediah, Octavian, and Attila the Hun in pursuit in Central Park, where they stop him and regain the tablet. At the end of the movie, Cecil, Gus, and Reginald are forced to become museum janitors after being sent to jail.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Cecil, along with his colleagues, didn't return in the sequel; however, they did appear in the alternate ending included on the D.V.D. and Blu-ray releases.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
He and his cohorts return in the threequel, where they now reside in a retirement home. He appears to have reformed as he immediately tells Larry he has no interest in the tablet anymore, and enjoys his time at the home. Cecil also helps Larry find answers when the tablet's magic is disappearing. Cecil tells him to take it up with Ahkmenrah's dad, Merenkahrie, who, along with his wife, resides in the British Museum of Natural History. Cecil's past is revealed as he is the cause for the founding of Ahkmenrah and his parents while on an expedition with his dad in his minor age. Also it is revealed that, despite his age, he is quite a skilled dancer.
- He has certain similarities with Sid Phillips from Toy Story franchise.
- Both are the true main antagonists of the first film and besides being human, being that other toys or just living dolls were fulfilling a anti-hero or secondary role.
- These villains were scared away by the living dolls, giving them a lesson and reforming them at the end of the movie.
- Also they have an additional appearance in the third sequels, with no antagonistic role.