Recently we have come to some great debates about visual media, tv shows and movies. Should we take them with a grain of salt, or a whole lot of salt? Was the work crafted with a superficial purpose such as entertainment or are they trying to strike a chord with everyone’s inner intellectualism?
In the beginning of our quest to find meaning on the Internet, Ms. Pugliese warned us to consider the source and look very closely into where the work we are studying came from. For example, if Jake’ s tv series on one hundred millions years later were to be created solely by graphic design students, we would take it differently than we did take a show with expert opinions by scientists at well-known universities.
I was pondering these questions alot as I revistited one of my favorites movies of all time, Ice Age. While it is extraordiarily funny and I still enjoyed that still, I watched the movie differently this time. There are many things that just do not seem right, and the reason they are there is for entertainment.
Here’s what I found that did not seem right:
- Scrat survives: this saber-toothed squirrel gets trampled, pummeled and frozen. He also clings to an acorn which he will never eat.
- All the animals migrate together: you see mammoths walking with turtles towards the South, away from the ice
- The hippo-esque animals play ‘extinction’
- The animals can all communicate (we will ignore this because it is a given in animal movies)
- The animals have a sense of purpose, trying to bring back the human
- A mammoth, sloth, saber-toothed tiger and a human baby form a conscious herd, and have each others backs
- The mammoth and sloth give the baby back to the humans, face-to-face
- The armored rhinos, although they are migrating south when they first attack Syd, are seen again in the ice
- The Dodo birds are aware of the ice age and think they can survive on three melons
- Diego the tiger betrays the other tigers to protect Manny
This is just a sampling. But Ice Age is a reminder to beware of your analysis. It is clear a humor and entertainment oriented film. The deepest meaning I could find is the idea of a very, very idealistic world in which animals can communicate and forge unbreakable friendships, have a sense of purpose and can interact with humans to a small degree. It is preposterous.
I recently saw the new movie Fantastic Mr. Fox (trailer if you don’t know what I am talking about). In this film there is, like in many, an idea behind the plot. The plot is a fairly simple one, the foxes and other animals are fighting against the three ruthless local farmers. In the story the initial reason why they do this is unclear, but there are reasons to continue. For example the nephew of Mr. Fox is kidnapped, that is a reason to continue. But the real reason why this was all started is far more complex.
Throughout the movie Mr. Fox and the other foxes try to be polite and human, but more so they try to deny that they are animals. This is most evident when Mr. Fox explains to Mrs. Fox why after twelve years (fox-years) he breaks his promise to not steal from the farmers. His reasoning is that he stole from the farmers because he is an animal. when the chance arose he ran in and stole what he could from the farmers. he explains that he had no choice in the matter; it goes against his instincts to pass up a chance to steal.
I found this to have an interesting commentary on animals subduing their animal side. Usually we talk about humans squishing their animal sides and animals amping up their human side, but never animals trying to suppress their animal side to make room for there preexisting human characteristics.
This Thanksgiving break has been all movie time (By the way, Balto was a really nice movie. Thank you Walter). During one boring night, I decided to re-watch Star Trek. Throughout the entire movie, you see spaceships warping (traveling at the speed of light or greater) to various parts of the universe. Inside the command center, you literally behold space beginning to bend and stretch as the ship goes into warp drive. Similarly, beaming is the teleportation of people from one location to another. In one scene, an engineer discovers the equation to beaming people onto moving objects and exclaims, “Of course! I never would have thought of space as a moving force!” Although these space travel concepts are merely theoretical, I believe that they are attainable and will be implemented in the far future. As human technology progresses, we will be able to bend space, time, and the basic laws of nature. A truly formidable power, don’t you agree? “With great power comes great responsibility,” as everyone has heard. I agree that if we are able to achieve such technologies, we could use it for a multitude of beneficial applications. I cannot even begin to list ways we could help nature; just use your imagination. However, powerful things always have possibilities to go horribly wrong. For example, space/time travel could always be dangerous, especially with the “affect something in the past changes everything in the future” type of thing. Small changes that could be made through advancements in human technology could have quite damaging effects on nature and its living organisms. The theme of science and its effects on nature is what I will be exploring further in my paper.
Tagged danger, light, Movie, nature, science, space, Star, teleport, time, travel, Trek, universe