Contradictory yet integral animated films; Disney and Globalization in Pocahontas

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Tobacco growth in Jamestown, Virginia. 17th century.

Disney’s Pocahontas can be considered one of their most important animated films in that it is (loosely) based on a real historical figure. The story behind Pocahontas is the history about the first English colony in America, which was built on war between the English and Indians. Despite 1994’s The Lion King being more successful, most senior animators working for The Walt Disney Company chose to work on Pocahontas, as they figured it would be more of a success (Booker). Despite the hypocrisy in the themes explored in Pocahontas—the film is capable of bringing about a positive message to families. David Whitley, the author of The Idea of Nature in Disney Animation confirms that the imagery and plots Disney films demonstrate have helped inspire generations of environmentalists (Jorgensen). However, Disney should look at its own globalization tendencies before implementing contradictory pro-environment sub-text in films such as Pocahontas. Animation seems to be ideal in Disney’s marketing as children make for easy targets to brainwash because their understanding of logic and social outlooks are in progress (Jorgensen). Perhaps even the Clinton administration of the 1990’s might have influenced certain subtext in the film. In the 90s, Bill Clinton endorsed an anti-tobacco bill that would carve out tobacco marketing initiatives (Age). The pro-environment themes in Pocahontas don’t necessarily reflect the corporation’s true intentions, but rather served for marketing purposes—Disney is a money making machine.

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Capturing Tension & Movement in Argo

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Through character-driven compliance, director Ben Affleck embarks elements of intensity and tension into his film, Argo. In dedication to keeping the audience engaged, Affleck adapts a modern approach to the classic Hollywood system and uses invisible style in the film. Thus, in accordance to implementing social problem solving in what might seem like a hopeless narrative outcome—Affleck searches for it through linear narratives. An implementation of parallel editing and shot linkages is cohesive to the film’s overall structure to unfold a clear resolution to the intense complications throughout.

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Cinematography: Dismantling Insanity in Her

            In Her, Spike Jonze exploits the sensitivity, love life, and connection Theodore has with Samantha. Undeterred by the absurd notion of falling in love with an operating system, an indication of robust context collides with Theodore and reverses what could be described as self-proclaimed insanity. The complexities between Theodore and his virtual counterpart advocates the need of a clear Hollywood narrative. Jonze uses cinematography and editing to convey why a clear narrative should integrate emotion in Her.

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Superstitious Connotation in The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel delightfully capitalizes on theological themes, particularly as a solitary existence. Despite more emphasis on the film’s characters and their series of unfortunate events, distractions are used to disguise religious context. Such interference allow Wes Anderson to make consistent use of stylized planimetric shots as he appropriately and strategically banters the film with a deliberate choice of props and settings. Thus, Anderson is able to engage his audience with well crafted implementations of Mise-en-scene. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a vehicle for visual allurement and intellectual depth—particularly its theological undertones.

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Low Key lighting in The Grand Budapest Hotel

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