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Critical Analysis of Disney Movies

ENG 3U1 Group Presentation

Leslie Hernandez

on 2 May 2011

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Transcript of Critical Analysis of Disney Movies

FINDING NEMO: A Critical Analysis of the Disney Movie Archetypes in Characters Nemo Nemo is the archetypal innocent youth. Suffocated by his father's overprotectiveness, he is fond of adventures. Being the only survivor of the roe (group of fish eggs), he is seen to be a prized possession to his dad, Marlin. Nemo also has a little fin (referred to as his "lucky fin"), which Marlin is often worried about. Marlin Marlin is the archetypal overprotective dad. After the loss of almost all the eggs in his wife's roe, his main focus in life is to watch over his only son, Nemo, and to make sure that he doesn't lose him as well. He worries about Nemo decides to put his son into school in order to blend in with the other kids. In addition to this, Marlin is also the archetypal heroic figure. He undergoes a journey with several obstacles but still manages to find his son. Dory Dory is the archetypal sidekick in this movie. She is the optimistic,out-going fish that Marlin encounters later on in the film. She is depicted as having short-term memory loss. Dory brings comic relief to the film. She is bubbly and has a free spirit which aids Marlin throughout their journey. Crush Crush is the first archetypal mentor figure in this movie. He is laid-back and is seen as carefree and is depicted as a 70's surfer-type green sea turtle, who often uses words such as "dude", "righteous", "totally" and "whoa". He also abbreviates words and uses a specific jargon that suits his "surfer" character. Gill Gill, who is later introduced in the dentist's fish tank, is the the second archetypal mentor in this movie. Strong and confident, he is somewhat of an adviser and a father-figure to Nemo throughout his stay at the fish tank. Archetypal Analysis Why an archetypal analysis? By using an archetypal analysis, we can observe and critique various aspects to the Disney movie, Finding Nemo. From this, we can identify which characters and situations are based off of archetypes that are often used in literature and films. If we are aware of how these archetypes are classified throughout the film, the meaning of the movie may be revealed to the audience more easily. Bruce Bruce is the threshold guardian archetype in Finding Nemo. The threshold guardian is defined as the gateway obstacle that the hero and his sidekick (Marlin and Dory) have to overcome before they can continue on in their journey. The role of the threshold guardian is to test the hero's mettle and worthiness to begin the story's journey, and to show that the journey will not be easy. Bruce the shark, as well as his fellow sharks, seem to fit this archetype very well. Overview Movie: Archetypal Analysis of: Finding Nemo (2003) Characters
Symbols Objective: To critically analyze a selected Disney Movie Archetypes in Situations Making a Sacrifice Dying The film begins with a young father (Marlin) and mother that had conceived many eggs. Once they settled down, they are attacked by a barracuda. Nemo's mother died to save her children. She was very brave, but despite her efforts, only Nemo survived. This event left only the father and the child. This situation is an archetype because every hero has an amazing birth and in this situation Nemo barely survived. Coming of Age Situational Archetypes, continued... Loss of Innocence Temptation Nemo is eventually old enough to attend school. This represents the archetype of coming of age. Possibly from the barracuda attack, his right fin is much smaller than his left fin and thus it acts as the never healing wound. While this situational archetype shows a loss of innocence, in this occasion it shows that Nemo is now coming to an age to enter school, and slowly, adulthood. Another major situational archetype besides Nemo's birth is his rebellious nature to his father. This situational archetype can be seen 'The Fall'. It shows that Nemo is now old enough to make decisions on his own and is sadly punished for his choice of rebellion. When he is tempted, listens to the other children, and moves to touch the boat, he is scooped up by the scuba diver and it results in Nemo being separated from his father. This situational fall begins the film's major conflict. Journey/Quest Situational Archetypes, continued... Marlin must now go on a journey to find his son. After the initial panic and confusion, Marlin realizes that he must search for his son and take assistance from anyone that wishes to offer it. He then meets another fish named Dory. She is a regal tang with short term memory loss but possess great optimism. She immediately wishes to aid in the finding of Marlin's son causing this archetype of a 'quest' to begin. They encounter several obstacles such as the sharks, jellyfish, and the deep sea angler. They get lost, and ask the entire ocean for directions, and they eventually end up in Sydney, Australia. Situational Archetypes, continued... Initiation After a few life and death events, the next situational archetype seen for Nemo is the rituals of initiation into the fish tank, such as going through the volcano. The archetype arises when Nemo is placed in a fish tank or at a dentist’s office. The dentist that now owns Nemo plans to give him away to his niece who is coming in a few days. In the fisk tank, he meets other fish that live in there and they put him through the initiation process. This shows Nemo what his new home for the time being and what the people that live there are like. Elsewhere during Nemo's adventures, Marlin and Dory are swallowed by a blue whale after a meeting with some sharks. Once the blue whale moves them to Sydney (where Nemo is kept), they leave through the whale's blowhole and are discovered by hungry and greedy seagulls. Marlin is then saved from the seagulls by a friendly pelican named Nigel who has heard of his brave journey. Journey, continued Situational Archetypes, continued... After a long misunderstanding, Nigel (the pelican) transports Marlin to the dentist’s office. There, Nemo has already jammed the filter using a pebble, which caused the dentist to replace the filter. While Nemo is to be taken away for gifting to the dentist's neice, Nigel bursts through the window. The dentist goes into shock and Nemo pretends to be dead as not to be sold. Marlin witnesses this and escapes with the pelican in disappointment and sadness, with the assumption that Nemo has died. After Nemo eventually escapes, he meets Dory who has now lost her memory again. Dory eventually remembers enough to know who Nemo is and bring him back to his Father. The last archetype is seen here as a massive fishnet traps many fish in it including Nemo's father Marlin. Nemo enters the net and teaches the fish to swim down and break it by using the motto "Just keep swimming" as taught by Dory. By doing this, Nemo saves them all from being eaten. Rescue Salvation Archetypes in Symbols Light vs. Darkness The area of the ocean where Nemo and Marlin live is colourful and bright, and it is thought to be safe. After the drop-off area where Nemo is captured, it is dark and thought of as unsafe and is the unknown. This is also seen throughout the movie whenever Marlin and Dory are about to encounter trouble. Innate Wisdom vs. Educated Stupidity In their search for Nemo, Marlin seems to be the smarter half that keeps Dory and himself on the right path, but in key life or death moments, Dory seems to be more knowledgeable. An example of this is when Marlin and Dory are inside of the whale. Dory is the one who tells Marlin her idea of how to get out of the whale. Marlin trusts her and because of Dory's decisions, they survive. Symbolic Archetypes, continued... Supernatural Intervention When the barracuda attacks the eggs what are the chances that only one egg would be left to hatch? Natural vs. Mechanistic World When in the fish tank the fish constantly complain about not being in the ocean. Gill cites that fish belong in the ocean not in ‘a box’. The Threshold To rescue Nemo, Marlin and Dory must venture into a world they do not know: the world full of unknowns. By rescuing Nemo, Marlin changes drastically. Never again will he take his son for granted. Symbolic Archetypes, continued... Haven vs. Wilderness The anemone is the haven that Marlin and Nemo need to live. It is their safety. Outside of the anemone, the drop-off is the wilderness which represents danger.

A haven for Dory and Marlin is the sea turtles. After they are attacked by jellyfish, they are given a safe haven by these turtles, who give them advice on how to get to Sydney, Australia. Water vs. Desert The village where Marlon and Nemo lives is the ‘water’ so to speak, where life thrives, and the drop-off is the desert where no life is found, it is baren. Symbolic Archetypes, continued... The Crossroads After Nemo and Marlin are reunited and the school of fish is caught by the fishing net, Nemo wants to go into the net and get the fish to swim down. Marlon has to trust Nemo to be safe and let him go into the net by letting go of Nemo’s fin.

After Gil sends Nemo into the filter and Nemo almost dies, Gil realizes that the safety of the other fish is more important than some of them getting into the ocean. The Tower The fish tank symbolizes the tower prison. It keeps the fish out of their natural habitat, and they are trapped against their will. Symbolic Archetypes, continued... The Whirlpool When Dory and Marlin are in the shark club and Dory starts bleeding, Bruce (the shark) smells the blood and his appetite for fish is awakened, since sharks enjoy the scent of blood. Fog When Marlin and Dory have to swim through the underwater valley, instead of going above it, they are very uncertain about what lies ahead so they go through it. This is where they are faced by the obstacle of the jellyfish. Symbolic Archetypes, continued... Colours Blue Black Green symbolizes positivity
Dory is blue and she plays the optimistic character.
ex: When Dory and Marlin are in the whale and the water in the whale is leaving, Marlon says the whale is already half empty, but Dory says, “I’d say it’s half full.” symbolizes mystery and the unknown
Gil is black, and he portrays a mysterious personality, as if he experienced traumatic events in the ocean in the past. symbolizes hope
The pebbles used to stop the fish tank filter are green, because those pebbles is what gives them hope to stop the filter and make the tank dirty. As the tank gets dirty it gets green. The walls are green and green particles of filth float around, symbolizing more hope. We chose to look at the character, situational and symbolic archetypes because they are very relevant in this film. We think that by looking at the different archetypes, you can determine the purpose of certain characters and thus have a fuller appreciation for the film. When you look at archetypes, it is like looking into the originality of the film, and it truly shows how the film is very original. The archetypes can be applied to other films, however, the film is original in the journey that the main characters take, and the things they encounter on the way. How does the critical analysis reveal the meaning of the movie? When you look at the film, “Finding Nemo,” from the critical analysis lenses you can truly see the meaning and purpose of the movie. You can see the meaning of certain characters, and how these characters take on archetypes. You can also see messages that are almost subliminal in nature, such as the colour of the fish, or how the water changes colour when the mood changes. These things are essential for the viewing of the film, but you cannot truly appreciate them without first looking at the movie critically. Also, you can see when you watch the film, many morals and lessons that can be applied to everyday life. The loss of innocence, the father/ son relationship- it is all in this animated film. When you analyze this movie critically, you begin to notice these important lessons. It is by doing this that we can truly appreciate the meaning of the film and begin to think about how it applies to our lives.
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