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Pan's Labyrinth and the Hero's Journey

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Medina Suta

on 9 December 2013

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Transcript of Pan's Labyrinth and the Hero's Journey

Pan's Labyrinth
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Critically acclaimed Mexican/Spanish fantasy film
Winner of 3 Oscars
Known World
Unknown World
The Call to Adventure/Refusal
The hero, Ofelia, moves to a small town in the Spanish country side to join her new stepfather, Fascist leader Captain Vidal.
During her journey, Ofelia encounters fairies and sees a stone labyrinth.
Later that night, she follows a fairy to the labyrinth and meets a faun.
The faun tells Ofelia that she is actually a fairy princess and that in order to be reunited with the magical world, she has to complete 3 tasks.
Ofelia initially refuses but decides to complete the task
The Threshold/Supernatural Aid
Archetypes/Major Characters
Hero: Ofelia
Shapeshifter: the Faun
Tricksters: the fairies
Shadow: Captain Vidal
Mentor: Mercedes and the Faun
Threshold Guardian: the book
The Herald: the Fairy and the Faun
Challenges and Temptations
Challenges on Journey
The Abyss
The Transformation
The Atonement
The Return/ the Gift of the Goddess
Faun gives Ofelia three fairies, one for each task, and a magical book that will instruct her on her journey
Ofelia opens the magical book to find out her first task
By opening the book, Ofelia crosses the threshold since she accesses supernatural forces
Ofelia has to place 3 stones in the mouth of a giant frog in order to obtain a key
Lost time to start second task due to her pregnant mother's deteriorating condition
Goes into the Pale Man's hall to obtain golden dagger
Although she was told not to eat any of the food on the Man's table, Ofelia eats two grapes and awakes the monster
Narrowly escapes death through the help of her magical chalk
Drew a door on the wall and was transported to her bedroom
Faun does not allow her to complete her tasks since she disobeyed his orders
Personal Challenges
Mother's health is worsening and could possibly die
Lives in Fascist Spain during WWII
Lives in rural home that is surrounded by guerilla fighters; constant danger
Stepfather, Captain Vidal, enforces a strict life at home
Heartless; only loves her mother, Carmen, since she is carrying his heir
Housekeeper Mercedes and the other adults in her life tell her to stop being interested in fairy tales and make believe
After her mother destroyed a magical mandrake that maintained her health, she falls into labor
Dies in labor but her son is taken by his father, Vidal
Ofelia is officially an orphan and tries to runaway with Mercedes
After her mother's death, the Faun returns and allows Ofelia to be reunited with her family in the Underworld
Ofelia regains faith in herself and follows the Faun's directions in hopes she will see her mom again
In order to achieve the final task, Ofelia must take her brother to the labyrinth
With the help of the magical chalk, Ofelia is able to sneak into her stepfather's room, drug him, and take the baby
Vidal barely sees Ofelia take the baby and drunkenly starts chasing her
While Ofelia is being chased by Vidal, the labyrinth opens and she and her brother safely meet the faun
In order to be reunited with her family, a drop of an innocent's blood must enter the vortex of the labyrinth
i.e. she must prick her baby brother's finger to offer the drop of blood
Ofelia refuses to hurt her brother
Vidal catches up to her at the labyrinth and upon finding her, shoots her in the stomach and takes the baby
Ofelia's blood drops to the bottom of the vortex and she completes her mission
After she completed her mission, Ofelia is reunited with her mother and father in the peaceful underworld
Ofelia completes her destiny and officially becomes the peaceful Princess Moanna
Although Ofelia completes her mission and is reunited with her parents, the film's ending is considered ambiguous. Throughout the course of the film, there are inconsistencies with the supernatural elements and the real world (ex. Vidal's inability to see the faun and Carmen's death resulting from the burning of the magical mandrake). In conclusion, the audience never really knows what aspects of the film are real or figments of Ofelia's imagination. Ultimately, it is up to the viewer to decide the ending
The Link to the Google Doc
Full transcript