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The Heroes Journey and Archetypes

The Heroes Journey and Archetypes

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Published by Emily Clarkson
A review on 2002 Disney film, Treasure Planet in the context of archetypes and heroes Journey.
A review on 2002 Disney film, Treasure Planet in the context of archetypes and heroes Journey.

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Published by: Emily Clarkson on Oct 18, 2013
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06/24/2014

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The Heroes Journey and Archetypes
Treasure Planet (2002)
(Fig1.TreasurePlanetPoster)
 
Basedontheoriginalnovel‘TreasureIsland’,byRobertLouisStevenson,TreasurePlanet’isDisney’s,sci-fi,rebootoftheclassichero’sjourney,directedbyRonClementsandJohnMusker.Thepremiseofthestoryisofalegendarypirate,NathanielFlint,whoroamedtheuniverse,stealingtreasureandstashingitallononeworld-TreasurePlanet.’ThiswasthefavouritebedtimestoryoftheyoungheroJimHawkins.Havinggrownintoateenagedelinquent,Jimhashisworldupendedwhenanaliencrash-lands,warningofacyborgandhandshimthegreatestadventureofhislife.ThemaptofindFlint’sTreasure.Intheoriginalstory,JimHawkinsisquiteclearlyapurehero,simplyspurredbyhisdestiny.Howeverin‘TreasurePlanet’,Jimdisplaysapersonamaskedasatroubledboy,plaguedbytheabsenceofhisfather.IntheeyesofEmpireOnlinethischaracter
 ,‘isapony-tailedskatekidwithattitudemeaningwehaveasullenherowhoisdifficulttorootfor.‘
(Empire,2003)Converselythissullenattitudegivesthecharacteranothermorebelievabledimensionthathegraduallyleavesbehindashischaracterdevelopswiththestory.Ifthereisonethingtonoteaboutthisadventure,itisthewayinwhichthecharacterofMisterSilver,transitionsbetweenarchetypesthroughout.Mr.SilveristhestarshipRLSLegacy’scyborggalleycook.AndalsoreluctantlymadetobeJim’smentor.(Fig2.SilverandJim,IMDb)Jim,forewarnedbyheraldBillyBonesdoesn’ttrustthecyborg.HetakestheopportunitytoprobeSilverforinformation.Inthescenesthatfollow,Silversarchetypeshifts.Withthreateningmutteringstohispetshapeshifter‘Morph’aboutJim’squestions,werealizeSilveristheshadowarchetypeandourhero’sgreatestenemy.HoweverinabidtokeepJiminthedarkSilverpusheshisroleasamentor,simultaneouslythisbuildsabondbetweenthecharacters.FollowingChrisVoglersHero’sjourneyoutline.Duringact2,roughlyhalfwaythroughthefilmcomesthe‘ordeal’–
‘theheroentersacentralspaceintheSpecialWorldandconfrontsdeathorfaceshisorhergreatestfear.Outofthemomentofdeathcomesanewlife.‘ 
(Storytech,N/A)HereJimisfacedwiththedeathofacrewmember,tryingtoavoidanexplodingstar.Heisthendeceivedintothinkingitwashisfault.AtthispointSilvertakeshismentoringresponsibilitiestoanotherlevel,consolingJimuntilhebecomesafatherfigure.
 
ThisroundsJimshardedgesfillinghimwithanewfaithinpeoplehehadlostsincehisfatherleft.ThisbehaviorleadstheaudiencetofeelwarmthandtrusttowardsSilverscharacter,despiteknowingthatheisindeedapirateconspiringagainstJimandhisfellowallies.(Fig3.JimandSilverasthestarexplodes,IMDb)Ofcourse,asiswellknownintheoriginal‘TreasureIsland’,mutinytakesplaceafterarrivingattheisland,orinthiscaseplanetandSilveronceagainbecomesavillain.Onlocatingthetreasure,thecharactersattempttotakeit,accidentallyinitiatingaself-destructsequence.JimandSilverarethelasttofacethedangeroftheimplodingplanet.MeanwhileSilverisstillfirmlyvillainous,leadingtheaudiencetoquestionhistruepersona.IsSilverstillwearingamaskorishistrueselfalwaysapirate?ThisleadstosomeveryclimacticscenesinthefilmthatmakeforsomeinterestingviewingandfinallySilver’sarchetypeisrevealed.Despitebeingbaseduponaveryoldchildren’stale,TreasurePlanetmakesforagreatreboot.Adjustmentstothestorytelling,theslighttweakstocharactersandeventsquitesimplygiveitanewleaseoflife.TimewriterRichardCorlissfindsthatthestyleofthefilm
‘ 
 Splashes lavish special effects on a colorful  palette without forfeiting attention to character detail’ 
.(Corliss,2002)Withcharactersfullofdepthandcharismaitisdifficultnottolovethisfilm.Andsumptuouscolourfulsetsofthingsbeyondthisworld.,thesenseofadventurecouldn’tbestronger.Thisisagreatfilmforyoungviewerslookingforalittlealienadventure.

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