Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How my essay relates to my own focus

This year we we abel to choose our own topic to write about for an essay, as I am primarily interested in animation, I wanted to explore a topic that dealt with animation and some of the issues that have occurred within them. A major topic is feminism and how the female characters within Disney films are portrayed. I wanted to expand my knowledge on the topic and see how the female characters could affect the audience and if this would then have any impact on their lives. I also introduced The Gaze Theory and how it could be seen that the female characters could be related to this theory.

By looking into feminism and the portrayal of characters, I found that there needs to be a lot of consideration when it comes to designing characters and the story around them. The majority of Disney films are princess movies, and over the years they have grown and not stuck to the stereotypical traits of how a woman should be, they have gone from being passive and only wanting to find love, to having ambition and a great deal of independence. How a character is designed will affect the audience greatly, the audience needs to be able to empathise with the character and connect with them on some level, in order for them to be engaged within the film. It's made me realise that when I come to creating my own animations, with my own characters, I should really spend a good amount of time developing the character and the personality. Yes the story may drive the film, but the character supports it, without characters, how else will the film progress?

As I introduced The Gaze Theory, it has also led me to think about the design of female characters. The first impressions of Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit may be that the audience doesn't like her because of the way she is dressed and how her body is revealed, however she specifically says within the film, that it's not her fault that she was designed this way. Jessica Rabbit has been created in a way that, even though she is quite sexualised, she ends up choosing to marry the one that makes her laugh, she could have any man she wants but she chooses Roger Rabbit. Audiences may still disagree with her design, however the fact that she doesn't conform to the stereotypes of her looks is a good thing. There are many things to take into consideration when designing characters, more times than most, the majority of characters will be visually appealing, especially the leads, whereas the villains will be less attractive. Everyone wants to make a good looking character but is it always needed? It's something to think about...

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