Narrative Analysis of a Pixar Film

Monsters Inc. Story Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Structural Moments in Monsters Inc.

  • ACT 1: A lot of time is taken introducing the world and the characters – we are shown the way the monsters’ society operates and we are given time to see the character dynamic.
  • ACT 2: A child enters the monster world, children are believed to be toxic to monsters. Main characters must hide her. Wacky hijinks ensue.
  • ACT 2: Child is stolen by the antagonist. Main characters must get her back.
  • ACT 2: They get her back, partially due to the power of friendship.
  • ACT 3: They return her to her home and the antagonist is trapped. Life goes back to normal.

Character Types

Protagonist: Sulley – He is the main hero of the story and the central figure who drives the story.
Antagonist: Randall – He is the main villain of the story, creating the main tension in the story and puts the narrative into motion.
Donor: Yeti – The Yeti helps Sulley and Mike return to the monster world through his knowledge.
Helper: Mike – Mike appears to be Sulley’s sidekick, helping him throughout the film.
Princess: Boo – She is the person Mike and Sulley are trying to rescue.
Dispatcher: Henry J. Waternoose III – As the pair’s boss, he essentially sets the story in motion.

Conflicts and Themes

Monsters Inc.’s biggest theme is the conflict between good and evil. This can be seen on the big scale, through the fact that the corporation is exposed as evil, and on the small scale, through there simply being “good” and “bad” monsters,

Genre Analysis of Pan’s Labyrinth

Class Analysis of How Pan’s Fits the Fantasy Genre

Reflection on the Genre Analysis

Similarities:

  • Pan’s Labyrinth has some very generic locations including long corridors, mysterious forests, etc.
  • Pan’s has a particularly generic archetypal villain – Vidal.
  • The story has the generic struggle between good and evil.
  • Ofelia sacrifices herself to save her brother instead.
  • Pan’s includes a generic chase scene of the main character being chased by some evil.

Differences:

  • The Faun doesn’t fit in with generic conventions – he expects Ofelia to follow him blindly and it makes the audience unsettled and untrusting of the Faun.
  • Ofelia’s death defies generic fantasy conventions – based on the genre, we do not expect Ofelia to die.
  • Pan’s does not include a large battle scene as per other fantasy films, but instead multiple smaller, more tense scenes.
  • Ofelia does not prevail over the evil, other characters kill Vidal at the end.
  • The use of war tropes and props such as Carmen’s wheelchair contrasts the fantasy tropes – this creates the more serious elements of the film as well as putting forward some of the overarching themes (i.e. the impact of war on children).

Genre Poster

My Genre Poster

For this poster, we were asked to draw a poster that embodies the sci-fi genre. To achieve this, despite our less-than-perfect drawing skills, we included some of the basic things people will expect from a run of the mill sci-fi film. This includes aliens, lasers, spaceships, an alien planet and a setting in space. While there are a large portion of sci-fi films that do not include these generalised characters, settings, themes, etc, we drew what we believed to be what most people would quickly identify as common sci-fi tropes, which boiled down to strange aliens and laser fights. Science is a major part of the “science fiction” genre, however it isn’t easy to find a common trope that is identifiable for the majority of people that would show this – even if sci-fi isn’t exclusively lasers and spaceships, this is how a lot of people would identify the genre.

My Favourite Film

Why I Enjoyed It

Godzilla (1954) is one of my favourite films for a couple reasons. For one, the film’s special effects are impressive for the ‘50s – even if, these days, it just looks like a dumpy Japanese man stomping on a model city, it is certainly impressive for its time and if you can suspend your disbelief, it’s a visually exciting film. On top of this, Godzilla, while appearing similar to other early kaiju films, sold on the basis of there being a massive monster attacking people, creates an interesting analogy between the drop of the atomic bomb on Japan at the end of World War 2 and the attack of the titular Godzilla on Japan. Director Ishirō Honda creates simultaneously a wonderful monster film and a disturbing look at Japanese moral following such a disaster. My enjoyment of the film is generally tied to the film’s use of its special effects and the context surrounding it.

Film’s Trailer