Zootopia (middle to end of movie) Class on 2/28/17.

Today in class we begun by discussing a few details about our midterm paper. We discussed confusions over quotations and MLA formation for the Work’s Cited page. If a student is writing a paper based out of stories in Maria Tatar’s book, we only cite this book on the Works Cited page. In addition, when referring to a specific story within Tatar’s book in our paper, we still use the “(Tatar pg#).” at the end of our sentence, not the writer of the specific story. We also discussed the necessity to turn in a hard-copy in class on Thursday versus turning it in on eLC.

As class began we picked up Zootopia at the “Godfather” reenactment by the shrew named Mr. Big. Judy Hops, the energetic bunny cop, and Nick Wilde, the fox, are unwillingly brought to Mr. Big’s house after his security detail found the two searching in his company’s limo on his property. Nick expresses his fear for Mr. Big because of his past mistake in gifting him a skunk’s butt rug. The irony behind this entire situation is the enormous, intimidating polar bears work for a tiny shrew, which Nick still manages only to be incredibly frightened by Mr. Big.

Mr. Big is about to kill Judy and Nick because of the skunk butt rug incident, when his daughter enters the room and saves their lives due to Judy’s past run-in with the daughter. Mr. Big then forgives the two and promises to help them find what they initially came into the limo searching for, which was Mr. Otterton’s whereabouts.

At Mr. Big’s daughter’s wedding, he expresses to Judy and Nick that Mr. Otterton randomly started acting savagely and aggressively injured the driver, Mr. Manchas. He send Judy and Nick off by telling them of Mr. Manchas’s home is.

The next scene begins in the Rainforest District where Mr. Manchas tells of Otterton’s repetitively mentioning “night howlers” and shows them the scars from Otterton’s outrage in the limo. Mr. Manchas then randomly also turns into an aggressive creature and tries to attack Judy and Nick, whom barely escape Mr. Manchas’s rage in the rainforest.

Judy and Nick called the situation in and trapped Mr. Manchas to be detained, however, when reinforcements arrive, Mr.Manchas in his savage form are no where to be found. Chief Bogo, the Chief of the ZPD, Zootopia Police Dept., loses his patience for Judy’s overly-energetic quest for the missing animals and fires her. Nick, for the first time in Zootopia, honestly defends Judy and justifies her desire to finish the mystery to Bogo.

Upon discovering through the traffic security tapes, Judy and Nick are refreshed with vitality and discover where Mr. Manchas was secretly taken. They venture to an asylum outside the city, identifying from the videos that the “night howlers” are the wolves who protect the asylum’s perimeter.

Once Judy slyly finds away into the asylum, they discover that its habitants are conducting a medical operation inside what appears to be a hospital of sorts. They soon realize all the missing animals are caged in, including Mr. Manchas and Mr. Otterton, however they all appear to be in a rabid state. Soon after this discovery, the Mayor of Zootopia and the head doctor enter into the room, while Judy and Nick barely find a hiding spot. They overhear and record a video in which the Mayor and the doctor discuss their inability to revert their level of viciousness and cannot find a cure. Judy and Nick escape from security and attempt to show their evidence to Chief Bogo.

After time has passed, the Mayor, the lion, and the head doctor are seen arrested and taken into custody at the asylum and the savage missing animals are found. However, the animals, because there is no cure, are still harmful to society. Broadcasted on air to Zootopia, Judy unknowingly asserts that predatory animals are a threat to society because of their biological DNA containing a savage personality. Because of this interview, Nick, a fox and predator by nature, is hurt from Judy’s words. Judy realizes her prejudice words and does not feel like she has rightfully served her city as a police officer, so she quits.

After some time back in her hometown, Judy realizes the true meaning of “night howlers” and their effect on animals. The night howler is a plant that if consumed or interacted with creates a rabid personality, regardless of species. Her parents used the plants to ward off insects from eating their produce. Judy immediately returns to Zootopia and apologizes to Nick for the interview and what she said and they continue their quest to solve the mystery.

Judy and Nick find the source of the night howler in an underground lab in a train car. After a heated battle with the rams in the train car, Judy and Nick now have evidence in proving how the missing animals became savage. They became aggressive not because of their innate behavior as a biologically savage predator, but because someone was been pinning predators and injecting them with night howlers. This antagonist was trying to create the notion that predators are savage because of their biology, which would create tension among predators and preys and divide society. The antagonist wanted to have a concrete display of the confirmation of stereotypes and create fear among its society.

Judy and Nick, after overcoming a few more obstacles finally reveal the truth to the right people and save society from fearing one another. The cure is later discovered and the missing animals are restored from their savage ways back to normal.

Zootopia‘s message to me was the lesson of how society reacts to the concepts of racism and diversity. The variety of species and sizes among the Zootopian society is a reflection of our society in which there are many distinguishing characteristics that set humans apart on a physical level. Many people feel in society that stereotypes exist for a reason and that they are true. This message of a divided world cannot me more prevalent in society, especially in the US today. This movie breaks down this barrier of acting on preconceived prejudices and shows its viewers through an animated comedy that diversity is a good thing and that all people should be treated equally.

I personally enjoy animated films and was very excited at seeing how artistic and impactful this movie was. After winning an Oscar for ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ this past Sunday, it is no doubt a message from a great cinematic platform that everyone needs to hear in society today.

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Zootopia (02/23/2017)

Today in class we started the watching the Oscar winning movie Zootopia.  The movie follows the society of anthropomorphic animals who have evolved to the point where prey and predator coexist.  The plot follows a young ambitious bunny Judy Hopps, who dreams of breaking society’s stereotypes and becoming a police officer despite her size.  Along her journey to fulfill her dream she encounters nay-sayers and people that doubt her abilities, even her parents are against her becoming a police officer due to the danger associated with this occupation.

Judy is able to overcome her doubters and the obstacles she faces in the police academy and ends up graduating top of her class. She meets the mayor of Zootopia, a lion, and the assistant mayor, a sheep, at her graduation. She gets assigned to Zootopia’s precinct 1 in the heart of the city.  Judy then moves away from her rural home and into a small one-room apartment in urban Zootopia.  On her first day of her dream job Judy is dismissed by her fellow peers and ultimately given parking duty although there are 14 open missing mammal cases.

Judy despite being disappointed by her assignment at first, challenges herself to be the best meter maid she can be.  On her first day she encounters a fox and his child being discriminated against in an elephant ice cream shop.  Judy helps the fox and his child out and ends up buying the child a jumbo pop.  Happy with herself she then continues her meter maid duty until she realizes that something is suspicious with the fox. She decides to follow the fox for the rest of the day and finds out that the fox melts down the jumbo pop and resells smaller popsicles at a profit, along with also selling the used popsicle sticks.  Feeling bamboozled and taken advantage of, Judy confronts the devious fox trying to find a law he broke, so that she could arrest him.  The fox having done this for years, knows that he has not broken any law but worked carefully through loopholes.  The fox then continues to put Judy down and put pessimistic views into Judy’s head.

Feeling defeated, Judy returns to her apartment, where she receives a call from her parents who want to hear how her first day of work went.  Her parents are thrilled to hear about the safety of their daughter’s meter maid position.  Her parent’s enthusiasm about her position does not help Judy’s mood and only contributes to her doubts of what she thought her life would be like.  The next day Judy unenthusiastically continues her duties as a meter maid, receiving complaints from everyone for the parking tickets she wrote for them. While on duty she witnesses a robbery and starts pursuing the robber.  She chases him around town and eventually is able to catch him and bring him into the precinct.

Instead of the warm welcome she thought that was awaiting her there, the captain of the precinct calls her into his office to make her mistakes clear to her and that she had no right pursuing the criminal.  While in the captain’s office a distressed otter stops by to plea for help with the case of her missing husband. Hearing this Judy offers up her help to the otter, which does not sit well with the captain who subsequently fires her.  While walking out of his office, the assistant mayor pops up and praises Judy and tells the captain how excited she and the mayor are, that Judy is in the precinct.  Reluctantly the captain gives Judy 48 hours to solve the missing otter case.

Judy receives a photo from the file for the case with a photo, in which she recognizes the fox’s popsicle stand.  She then seeks out the fox to ask for his help.  The fox immediately says no to helping Judy, but she is able to manipulate him into helping her by recording him admitting to tax evasion.  They both then begin their journey to find the missing otter and end up traveling around Zootopia.

The movie challenges breaking the stereotypes of society, with Judy Hopps becoming a police officer despite all of her doubters.  It also brings in a motif of coexistence with the idea that all the animals in Zootopia living together.  This movie, along with other current Disney movies, is starting to address more controversial topics in their films.

Adventures of Pinocchio (2/21/2017)

On February 21, 2017 we opened the class with the Adventures of Pinocchio presentation. The first film was made in 1996, with a budget of 25 million which they only made 36 million in sales. This was not a huge profit as some of the other films we saw in other presentations we had in class. There were some differences in the movie compares to the book.

The movie differences from the novel includes Gepetto’s love interest Leona. The fox and the cat whom was the thieves in the novel are humans named Voipe and Feinet. The blue fairy is not one of the main characters.  The main protagonist is the puppet master named Lorenznei. Pinocchio has a mysterious change which turns him into a boy, and he is granted with new parents, Gepetto and Leona.

The novel was written by an Italian author Carlo Collodi in Pescia, published in 1883. Over the course of the novel there has been 240 languages adapted worldwide. The novel gives children life lessons on obedience and being appreciative to the ones that love you. Something I learn was that as a child you should always be obedient and tell the truth. A lie can affect others around you and this can create consequences. Listening and doing what your higher say prevents you from getting into harmful situations. If you can listen to someone, you become a wiser person. Wisdom makes a growth to maturity.

In class we being with partner discussion talking about punishments Pinocchio went through, like the fairy making his nose grow for lying, him getting eaten by a whale, and Pinocchio being sent to jail. His punishments came from the chances given hoping that Pinocchio will change but he does not.  When Pinocchio was changed into the donkey, he was at the last straw when it came to being noncompliant. When we think of a donkey, we think dumb and not willing to learn. Pinocchio was that, unwilling to change and listen to his superior.  The punishments showed Pinocchio that, his action not only affected him at the moment but his actions can affect him later in life as well. He had to learn that his behavior made others suffer.

Our next discussion was what could happen if the story was cut short and Pinocchio died. We wanted to see how the effects of him dying could affect the lesson we could have learned. It would have shown that behaviors could not change. The story would not benefit kids because the story has no way of showing if the actions are continued how a person can change. Throughout the journey of a kid’s life, books can help show how punishments help make changes in behaviors. However if Pinocchio died early in the book, it would give that scary vision that bad behaviors can put you in predicaments where it could end life soon, just by not doing what was said to do. There is a con and a pro for the story if it was cut.

Our last discussion for class was on Gepetto. Gepettos has that unconditional love for his child. He does not scold him on his actions. Pinocchio was given a lack of a leash. Gepettos was always there for Pinocchio even though he was abandoned by Pinocchio. Gepetto gives the view of parents having love for their children, no matter how much a child puts them through. Parents can be patience and hope for the best. We see this a lot from Gepetto as in patience and him supporting Pinocchio.

The connection to other books we read, Pinocchio has a more connection to how we relate obedience to our life than the other fairy tales. When we think about lying, we want kids to know that the truth holds more respect in our social norms. Telling the truth shows a person has courage and is willing to learn from mistakes. Other real connections Pinocchio had to real life situation is that parents show their love a lot to children even though children on not on the right path.

We lastly went over the topics for the midterm paper and the grading format. So work hard on your paper and your grade will reflect off your work.  Also make the paper in MLA format with page numbers.

Pinocchio Finale (2017-02-21)

Class began with a presentation on the history of both the Pinocchio novel and a movie chosen for being a very loose adaptation of the original work, ditching the fairy, giving Gepetto a love interest, and adding an overarching villain to the plot. The presentation talked about the sheer number of adaptations for Pinocchio, and discussed why it has so many adaptations and resonates so well. The presentation ended with a short summary of the events of the novel (Helpful, for the last day of discussion.)

The class discussion mostly focused on the novel as a whole, beginning with a discussion of the punishments Pinocchio undergoes throughout the novel. Discussion mostly centered around whether or not the punishments were intended to be retribution for his actions, or merely general punishments that he needed to make it through to become a real boy.

Discussion time was also devoted to Pinocchio as a religious allegory. Both with the shark being a similar story to Jonah and the Whale, and with the central concept of “If Pinocchio is a good boy, he will be allowed to become a real boy” being similar to the idea of living a good religious life and getting to enter heaven.

The discussion finished with the central message of Pinocchio. About how it clearly demonstrates that all actions have consequences, and teaches kids that being good leads to good things, and being bad leads to turning into a donkey bad things. It also reinforces what actions “being good” includes. Studying, working, listening to your elders, and other such virtues are extolled.

2/21/17 Adventures of Pinocchio

At the beginning of class there was a film presentation about The Adventures of Pinocchio. The 1996 version of Pinocchio is loosely based on the novel. There are several differences in the film. For instance, there is not a blue fairy in the film and in the film Gepettos has a love interest Leona. The novel is adapted in over two hundred and forty languages worldwide. The moral of the film is that a lie is a lie no matter the size of it and there will be consequences for it. The other moral in the film is if you are brave and truthful and you listen to your conscience, you will find salvation. I think that the moral of the film is the same as in the novel because Pinocchio goes through several trials and tribulations because of his lying.

The class discussion was mainly about Pinocchio’s punishments throughout the novel and how the punishments are brought about through his lying. One of the punishments about Pinocchio turning into the donkey is significant because a donkey represents a dumb animal, and that is symbolic because Pinocchio decided to go to Toyland instead of finishing school. He had several opportunities to change at this point in the novel. After he turns into a donkey he is sold to the circus. His performance in the circus could be interpreted as more humiliating because he is having to perform in front of other people. We also discussed how different the novel would be if it ended with Pinocchio dying on the oak tree. The story would be completely different and it wouldn’t really show kids how it is possible to turn their life around. It wouldn’t teach a lesson about how to get over things in life it would show how a harsh punishment ending his life.

There is also a religious illusion within the story when Pinocchio gets swallowed by the shark. It is very similar to the story in the Bible of Jonah and the Whale. The water is also symbolic of a baptism. This story could be interpreted as religious because of the similar stories as well as the moral of the story about Pinocchio trying to become a good person and showing the consequences of lying. It could also be seen as religious by how Gepetto is always there for Pinocchio and shows unconditional love for him even when he doesn’t deserve it. This could symbolize God’s relationship with humans here on Earth. Pinocchio is rude to him and Gepetto doesn’t ever scold him or get onto him. He kept giving to Pinocchio and he never gave up.

We also discussed several fairytale elements in the story. The blue fairy is a fairytale element that we have seen in other stories that we have read and discussed. The blue fairy really tries to help Pinocchio and acts as his mother. She tries to tell him to go to school and do the right thing and acts as Pinocchio’s conscience when Candlewick talks him into going to Toyland. He thinks back to what the blue fairy would think. Throughout the story Pinocchio has more dialogue compared to other stories we have read. The narration isn’t as obvious as it was in other things we have read.

Pinocchio teaches a very valuable lesson. The novel clearly shows that there are consequences for your actions. It also shows how easy it is to get into peer pressure and to forget what is important. When the schoolboys talk him into going to see the shark in the pond and to skip school he knew that it wasn’t a good idea but he decided to go anyway and trouble found him there. He didn’t to his conscience again when Candlewick talked him into going to Toyland. He contemplated for some time on what he should do but eventually he caved in. I think that these two instances of peer pressure that eventually led him to trouble is a great comparison of what happens to kids when they are growing up. It is so hard to listen to your inner voice tell you what the right thing to do is. I believe that this is one of the many lessons Pinocchio teaches his readers.

Finding Pinocchio(2/16/17)

For the first few minutes of class on 2/16/17 we listened to a presentation on the movie Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo. The presenters talked about how the movie gained massive success in popularity and box office sales. The movie was both praised and criticized for its inclusion of disabled characters. Some of the characters include Nemo who has a small fin, Dory who has short-term memory loss, a whale who can’t use her echolocation, and more. Some people found it inspiring and empowering to people with disabilities while others claimed the movie was using the disabilities to be laughed at. The presentation was very informative and enjoyable. I love both Finding Nemo and Finding Dory so it was interesting to learn more things I didn’t know about the film.

After the film presentation, we broke into groups of two and came up with the actions of the characters in Pinocchio throughout each of the chapters. We then discussed each of the chapters briefly as a class. In chapter 6, we focused on Pinocchio’s emotional feelings versus his physical feelings. Pinocchio has emotions such as fear, however most physical feelings are not noticed. As a class, we pointed out a few inconsistencies with what feelings he has. For example, Pinocchio notices that he is starving but he does not notice his feet being burnt off. Starvation and burning are both physical, yet he notices one and not the other.

In chapter 8, Geppetto makes Pinocchio a new pair of feet after they are burned off. This foreshadows that Pinocchio is going to leave once again and go do his own thing or get into some type of mischief. Pinocchio has been selfish throughout the book and it is expected that he will continue his selfish behavior. The reader is wanting some type of punishment for Pinocchio because they know he will continue to get in trouble, however, this would hinder the progression of the plot.

In chapter 9, Pinocchio is excited to go to school but he hears music and decides to follow it where he finds a puppet show. He sells his only schoolbook to go see this show, which is yet another selfish action of Pinocchio. This selfishness is explained in the book as “to think that poor old Geppetto sat at home… shivering with cold, having sold his coat to buy that little book for this son.” We have already seen countless selfish acts from Pinocchio at this point in the story.

In chapter 11, Pinocchio offers his life in exchange for Harlequin, which Fire Eater thinks is very noble of him so lets him go. Again we see a glimpse of selflessness from Pinocchio. We see something start to change in him. At this point in the book we see that Pinocchio does carry the capacity to care for other people besides himself. Although he is still selfish, we definitely see a change in his behavior with this action. For Pinocchio to offer his own life for the sake of someone else is very notable.

In chapters 14 and 15, Pinocchio ignored the warnings and is found by two assassins. They want his money or his life, so Pinocchio hides the gold he has in his mouth and refuses to speak. He then bites one of the assassins hands and realizes it is a cat paw which leads the reader to consider that the assassins could be the fox and the cat from earlier. Pinocchio runs away and tries to get into a cottage. He does not get let inside because everyone inside is dead, so he gets hung to a tree by the assassins and they say they will come back for him. It is a very hard and intense turn in the story. The class was thrown off by the fact that everyone inside of the house was dead and wasn’t exactly sure what the meaning behind it was. However, we all agreed that chapter 15 has a very harsh and violent atmosphere.

In which Pinocchio meets a fairy, goes to jail, and finds Dory.

Our 2/16/17 class started off with a presentation about the Disney Pixar movie Finding Dory. It was a cool presentation, and in my opinion it was more enjoyable than watching the movie itself.  When I say that, I’m not just insulting the movie, but rather I’m commending Emma and Jason for presenting the best parts of the movie in a way that was both interesting and informative.  Simply watching the movie myself, I would never have realized how thoughtful and progressive the movie’s plot was.  When I watched it on my own, it just seemed like any other children’s movie sequel, but after hearing about the true purpose of the story, I have a whole new understanding and appreciation for the movie.  Finding Dory was about returning characters Dory, Nemo, and Marlin from its classic predecessor Finding Nemo.   Dory, the title character, is a fish with a mental disability – specifically ridiculously inconvenient short term memory loss.  Throughout the movie, Dory goes on an adventure to find her parents, all the while meeting new wacky characters who each have their own disabilities and insecurities.  The lesson for the audience shows itself through Marlin’s role in the movie; at the start of the film, Marlin expresses frustration and annoyance with Dory, and even doubts the various character they meet throughout the movie, however each character inevitably proves him wrong and by the end of the movie he has learned to love and appreciate Dory exactly the way she is.

After the cool presentation, we started talking about Pinocchio and his equally outrageous and wacky adventures.  We picked up were we left off, discussing chapter 3, and we went group by group discussing each chapter on a deeper level.  For each chapter, we talked about the writing elements as well as our personal opinions.  One stark contrast between Dory and Pinocchio is that while the fish movie is very explicit and satisfying when it comes to characters learning lessons, the puppet book is extremely frustrating with any character failing to ever learn anything.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t meet any redeemable characters across Pinocchio’s adventures, there are some characters like the Talking Cricket and the Fairy sister that try really hard to set Pinocchio on the right path.  However, time and time again he manages to overcome their dumb life lessons and remain true to his awesome boyhood recklessness and inconsiderateness. We talked through the first few story arcs, about how he met and subsequently killed the talking cricket and failed to learn a lesson, how he met the fire eating puppet master and saved his friend but still ultimately failed to learn a lesson, and how he met the sneaky fox and cat who do their very best to be incompetent and fail to rob a child of his money and he still failed to learn a lesson.

All jokes (but not really) aside, Pinocchio as a character is still in the development stage of storybook adolescence.  Even though he fails to learn any long-term life lessons, we discussed how each of his experiences seem to bring him closer to finally making a break through.  While Pinocchio was completely obstinate in his encounter with cricket, he realizes as a result of this encounter how much he actually values his father Geppetto.  Now of course, Pinocchio ultimately betrays his father’s trust and spends the last of their money on theater tickets, but he feels bad about it afterwards so that still counts as progress.  Pinocchio’s time with Harlequin and Fire Eater shows Pinocchio’s growth when it comes to valuing the life and well-being of other people.  Pinocchio realizes what it’s like to have a friend, and his compassion for his father even convinces to the puppet master to spare him from a charcoaly fate.  Even so, when he is given money to bring back to Geppetto, his naivety prevents him from following the way home and he is tricked into following some impressively domesticated animals to a sketchy inn at the outskirts of a forest.  This failure actually shows a great deal of progress for Pinocchio – most of his failures in the past derive from his own selfish actions and ideas, however this time it comes from a misguided idea of selflessness.  He believes that if he follows the fox and cat, he would be able to exponentially increase his money so that his dad can be rich.  His mistake here isn’t that he is being willingly bad or selfish, but that he failed to follow proper guidelines and acceptable reasoning when talking to and trusting strangers.  If anything, this at least shows that Pinocchio is on his way to becoming a real, and good boy.

Adventures of Pinocchio & Finding Dory (2/16/17 Class)

Today in class, we opened with a movie presentation on Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory. The presenters started off by sharing that Finding Dory was the sequel to Finding Nemo, which was premiered in 2003. Finding Nemo‘s past success helped attract an even larger audience for the Finding Dory premiere because of its familiarity. I was amazing to hear how the success for Finding Dory resulted in $1.028 Billion in box office sales.

What was even more surprising to me about the Finding Dory movie presentation was the discussion over Disney Pixar’s groundbreaking use of giving a story’s main character a ‘developmental delay’ or mental illness. I had seen the movie when it first came out, but never made this connection. Disney Pixar creates a movie in which almost all of the main characters have a disability: Dory has short-term memory loss, Nemo has a stub of a fin, Destiny has poor vision, and Hank only has seven tentacles. It was interesting to hear the presenters show how Disney Pixar used their characters to show its viewers how people, in this case sea creatures, should be treated equally regardless of their setbacks. Finding Dory helps to send a message that shatters stereotypes against people with disabilities and presents the notion that disabled people are just as able to accomplish any obstacles thrown at them.

In addition to its characters learning to defy stereotypes, another theme among this movie was to learn to take risks to obtain what you truly desire. In the movie, the presenters shared how Marlin, the super-cautious clownfish parent, learns to go out into the treacherous deep ocean to help Dory find her parents. Not only do both these movies make a point to assert the importance of family and making deep connections, but both Marlin and Dory, as main characters of their respected films, learn to share a life together as a family. As a result of Marlin realizing that Dory helped restore his own family in the prequel, Marlin must now help Dory find that exact same feeling of family by finding her parents.

Following our movie presentation we began to dig into Adventures of Pinocchio a little deeper per our opening discussion on Tuesday. Because we had already discussed the introduction and went into discussion through the first few chapters, we began our analysis on chapter four and ended on fifteen. We broke up into groups and were assigned two chapters in which we were to identify any of the characters’ actions that were important in terms of plot progression.

Overall, there were many important discussion topics brought up in relation to plot progression and characters’ actions. I found a few instances in our discussion that I found very interesting and noteworthy. We analyzed the importance of the Talking Cricket and what he meant to the story and how he contributed to the plot. A student expressed the notion that the Talking Cricket’s actions and words contribute to his role as a ‘wise man’. He helps progress the plot by giving the reader the lessons that Pinocchio ignorantly refuses to learn in the story. The Talking Cricket shows honesty and is a mentor to Pinocchio, but is unfortunately not effective. It is also important to note that in the Talking Cricket’s lesson on the importance of education for Pinocchio, he reveals that if he does not follow this successful path that he will “grow up an utter donkey”. This bit of information foreshadows a later chapter in the story, thus justifying the honesty in his character. In addition to the Talking Cricket playing an important role in drawing attention to honesty, it was also interesting to learn that he is deeply concerned for the child’s salvation. Because he knows how disobedient the child is, he tries to tell Pinocchio repetitively to do things that will save him, but continuously fails.

There is also an important progression of the plot that is made by Geppetto, Pinocchio’s father. Although Geppetto sacrifices everything for Pinocchio’s well-being, Pinocchio continually disobeys him and remains ignorant. In one ignorant and defiant scenario, As a Pinocchio’s burns off his own feet on accident. Although Geppetto knows all of this and is hurt by his son’s disobedience and dishonesty, he still chooses to make a new pair of feet for his son. Giving a new set of feet to Pinocchio progresses the plot in which it allows Pinocchio to regain the ability to run away, disobey, and fall into yet another pickle. This occurs in Chapter 8. However, this notion of disobedience and ignoring sound advice,  given by a variety of characters a long the way, is continuous throughout the plot.

We realized by the end of our class discussion that all of our chapters contained a variety of different challenges and bad situations that were caused by Pinocchio’s impulsiveness and refusal to listen and learn. However, from constant trail-and-error, Pinocchio slowly gains human-like consciousness along the way, which I predict will lead him into the progression towards a ‘real boy’.

 

 

A Discussion of Shrek,Urashima, Pippy, Pinocchio and more

In class on Tuesday, February 14th we started off with a presentation of the movie Shrek. The two young women told us about the widely successful fantasy/comedy film, which earned a profit of $424.4 million in the Box Office. The movie was thought to have done so well because it was the first movie done by DreamWorks that referenced other Disney movies and characters in it: such as Snow White, her seven dwarfs, the evil queen’s mirror, Pinocchio, the ginger bread man and the three little pigs.

One of the more interesting points of this presentation was that Shrek was considered a “mock” fairy-tale by critics. They said that the humor was too inappropriate for kids. This complaint does have merit because the movie serves to make a mockery of the perceptions we have about beloved characters such as Snow White. It is also a contradictory story because its moral is to not judge a book by its cover, however the characters do just that by making puns about Lord Farquaad’s height. The audience is left to wonder why they should look past the ugliness of an ogre when the height of a Lord is just as much a physical burden that one carries.

After the presentation ended, we dove into a discussion of the remaining stories from the Beauty and the Beast section of the Classical Fairy Tales book. The first story that we discussed was Urashima the Fisherman. The idea of death was extremely present in this tale, in fact is seemed as though throughout the story the main character had died three times before his heart even took its last beat. First, Urashima died when he left his everyday life in order to be with an immortal woman in her world. When he left his friends and family, he was presumed dead and if you think about it a piece of him was dead because his life would never be the same again. When Urashima started to realize that a part of him was dead/ missing, he decided to return to his world and in turn die once again. Upon returning to his old life, he discovered that everyone he had known had long passed away and no one even remembered his name. When he tried to return to his beloved he once again was met with death when he broke her promise and gave up any chance of living a long and happy life with her.

The second story to be discussed was The Frog Princess. After reading the story the class came to the conclusion that it did not quite make sense. It was as if the story had a hidden message that we could not understand. This could have been caused by an error in translation, which led to the loss of cultural understandings associated with the story. Luckily, the third story, The Swan Maiden, was not quite as confusing. In this tale a young man was desperate for the love of a swan maiden so he practically forced her to marry him. It was only years later when he showed her the object of her own affection, her swan feathers, that she was able to live her life the way she wanted. The Frog Princess and The Swan Maiden had similar plot lines, because of the transformation of a beautiful lady into an animal, however they had strikingly different endings.

Later, we talked about Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose. In this story death was once again brought up, but this time in a different light. Instead of dying because of loss of memory, the nightingale suffered a prolonged sacrificial painful death. Not many people in our class admitted to liking this story because of its bleak ending. I personally did not care for it because it talked of a nightingale giving up its life in order to help out a young boy who gives up on his love. So to put it simply it was very depressing.

In order to finish our discussion from The Classic Fairy Tales, we were reminded of Pippety Pew. This small tale from the Hansel and Gretel portion of the book brought up the question of how readers interpret repetition. In my case, I don’t tolerate it very well. Instead of reading the same thing over and over again I simply read it once and skip over it every time it pops up again. By doing this I believe that the use of the literary device is wasted, but it does make the story go by faster.

The end of our class was used to talk about Pinocchio. Because we went through so many other stories during class, there was not too much time to discuss the new story. However, we did talk about the fact that Disney’s portrayal of Pinocchio was drastically different from the true story. However it did have similar morals.

The original tale of Pinocchio describes a newly made wooden boy who is easily distracted by the here and now. This leads him to an array of difficult circumstances in which he has to choose between helping others and entertaining his immediate desires. Each chapter amusingly describes the series of events that take place on Pinocchio’s journey of becoming a loving boy. As a class we decided that these titles not only provided the audience with comical relief, they also told the summary of the chapter. I personally can’t wait to see the other adventures that Pinocchio takes throughout the rest of the book.

A discussion on Valentine’s Day and Pinocchio

In class on Tuesday, Feb. 14 we began with a presentation of the movie Shrek. The two women who presented on the movie broke down the plot and characters of the story. However, the most interesting aspect of their presentation was how they argued whether or not the movie Shrek was a “mock fairytale”, which is defined as a parody of other fairytales. They argued that this aspect was the main criticism of the movie, stating that because many other fairytale characters and themes were included in the plot line of Shrek.

A common theme throughout many fairytales, and one that was the underlying commonality of Shrek was that of the main characters transforming throughout the story. In Shrek, there is a transformation of Fiona throughout the entirety of the movie. Whereas, Fiona’s transformation was that of physicality, many fairytale transformations are not as physical and direct, with majority of transformations happen through a character’s own mind and experiences.

But what is a class on Valentine’s Day without talking about Valentine’s Day? In class we also discussed the various types of love seen through the stories that we have read throughout the semester thus far. We hit on true love, familial love, and the love of friendship. The theme of love can be seen throughout every single story that we have read through up until this point. To be so bold, love is the one common theme throughout every story, ever.

From discussing love, we moved on to finish our discussion on Beauty and the Beast section in the Classical Fairy Tales book. We concluded as a class that the stories of this section were a lot more difficult to follow than those stories of other sections. As a class, we concluded that there was no connection from story to story as there had been in other sections of the book.

The first story that we discussed as a class was the story of the Fisherman. The main topic that we conferred with this story was answering the question of how do fairytales deal with death? We decided that through the tale of the Fisherman that death is presented twice. Once the man went away with the immortal women, leaving his family and all he had known, that was the first “death” of the man. Then, when the Fisherman experiences a longing to return home, he returns 300 years later. There is a sense of time travel and a lapse of time for the Fisherman. The second “death” that the man experiences are the death of his family and no one remembering him any more. Through this example of death we concluded that while everyone will have to go through a physical death, there is also a second death that people might have once no one remembers them any longer.

Moving on from classical fairytales, we ended class today discussing the chapters of Pinocchio that was assigned. We began the discussion talking about how Disney has a very skewed version of the classical story of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. However, while Disney might have strayed far from the original story, Disney’s production of Pinocchio makes the text a wider-known tale, connecting us, the viewers, to the original story.

From there, we broke down the chapter titles. Overall, as a class, we enjoyed the chapter titles and found them helpful and humorous. One class member even went as far as to say that the chapter titles were even funnier than the stories in the chapter themselves. More so, the chapter titles somewhat presented the plot summary. This practice is taken from biblical traditions by highlighting the major key aspects of shorter novels with shorter chapters. However, while the plot is somewhat summed up in the chapter titles, the moral of the story is not included. Nor, is it explained why something happened within the chapter or is any type of character development included.

Finally, we discussed whether or not the original story of Pinocchio was more geared and suited for children or adults. This story was published in a weekly series in the late 1800’s and it was through the popularity of both children readers and adult readers that Pinocchio became the internationally acclaimed story it is today. However, that still does not answer the question of who the story is suitable for, children or adults? One class member argued that the lessons that are presented and taught in the text are specifically geared towards an emphasis of showing how children should behave. Another class member argued that adults can directly benefit from the joy the stories bring and that it shows the reading adults how children should be treated, even if there are rude, immature boys like Pinocchio. Ultimately, as a class, we concluded that Pinocchio is a story for both young and old.