A friend suggested to me the other day that A Bug’s Life was essentially a film about a Marxist revolution. I am not well-read in Marx but I can see some similarities, however, the grasshoppers didn’t own any means of production – they merely used their power and threats of harm to force the ants to produce for them. I thought it was an interesting idea though – and thought it would be a cool idea to analyse the film through the lens of some classical social theory or liken it to a certain political/social structure.
Analyse and discuss what makes Mulan different from (and arguably better/richer than) other Disney movies. Factors to discuss include the incredible historical story (based off a real Chinese legend), the fantastic music and most importantly, the heroine. Mulan is brave, smart and selfless. This is a girl who risks her life to save her father, serves her country and even saves her male love interest (rather than the other way around). She fights well physically but combines this stereotypically male approach with creative smarts and subtle tactics which represent a more feminine approach. Her character is not reduced to a basic caricature such as tomboy, sassy cynic, ladylike woman, or silly gushing girl. Mulan is a fantastic, multifaceted personality and the movie celebrates this by showing that Mulan succeeds ultimately because she embraces her whole self and brings a unique perspective and approach situations. It is arguable that no other Disney movie has quite lived up to quality of Mulan, whether by story, music or heroine standards.
Love the topic! It might also be beneficial to compare/contrast Mulan to other Disney women. For example, Ariel saves Eric's life--but she's also whiny, headstrong, and spoiled, unlike Mulan. Belle selflessly sacrifices her freedom for her dad, but doesn't stand up to the Beast or fight physically, the way Mulan does in serving/saving her country. Esmeralda also saves her male love interest but is arguably "reduced to...a sassy cynic" in a lot of her scenes. Additionally, discuss the facets of Mulan's personality--compare when she's more traditionally feminine vs. when she's trying to pass herself off as a man, and how/if her personality changes. – Stephanie M.5 months ago
Interesting, but for the person who picks this up, just remember that there are A LOT of articles on this site about Disney women. I suggest you read all of them and figure out how this one stands out from the rest. – Christen Mandracchia4 months ago
The fact that it's a war movie makes her character stand out most. She's socially awkward and clumsy, but she still joins the army to save her father. That takes sacrifice and courage on its own, but she later grows more confidant and takes more risks. She even taking leadership in the final battle. Like you said, her character isn't based on some trope, she's just doing what needs to be done. Her humility is another admirable trait, as seen when she turns down a position in the palace to return home. What makes her realistic is how she reflects real-life soldiers. They know the sacrifice they're making, but they would give anything to see their families again. We didn't have a character arc like Mulan's until Moana came out eighteen years later. – MaryJane2 months ago
Discuss the use of myth in The Legend of Korra. What historical religions, legends, myths did the creators draw inspiration from? How does this shape their animation and style? The mythology of The Legend of Korra (and its predecessor, The Last Airbender) has always fascinated me and I’d love to see it analyzed in depth.
Check out Buddhism. There are tons of similarities between how the Avatar is chosen/found again and how the next Buddha is chosen/found again. It's quite interesting, but almost kind of lame when you realize how much the creators stole from Chinese culture! – Dominic Sceski3 months ago
Famously coined by Patrick Star (and, by extension, teleplay authors Jay Lender, Sam Henderson, and Merriwether Williams) in S03E05a of Spongebob SquarePants, the term "wumbo" has since become a fixture of the pop culture lexicon and fuel for countless internet memes. It is implicitly defined through its usage as being an adjective (as the opposite of "mini"), but subsequent explanation in the episode assigns it the qualities of a verb ("I wumbo. You wumbo. He/she/me wumbo."), and culminating in the academic discipline of "wumbology" (the study of wumbo, which is supposedly introduced in first grade curricula) thus indicating a noun form in order for it to be studied. Though obviously conceived as a simple joke — aimed at highlighting Patrick’s well-documented stupidity — there is a lot to unpack with regards to this seemingly nonsensical neologism.
Conduct a linguistic analysis of "wumbo" and its variant forms, using only the self-contained snippets of dialogue within the episode as a guide. Does it defy our preconceived understandings of linguistic morphology, or can a series of grammatical rules be devised to account for its inherently contradictory nature? If society were committed to accepting the term’s validity, what would be the parameters of usage under which it would enter our active vocabulary?
[Note: For the best quality article, it is highly recommended that this topic be taken up by someone with a background in, or at least a sufficiently deep knowledge of, linguistics.]
SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL FOR YOUR PERUSAL: The original clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lMu8V5Xa90); Urban Dictionary entries for Wumbo (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wumbo) and Wumbology (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Wumbology); Uncyclopedia page for Wumbo (http://mirror.uncyc.org/wiki/Wumbo); an entire fandom-powered Wiki devoted to Wumbology (http://wumbology.wikia.com/wiki/Wumbology_Wiki); Know Your Meme page on Wumbo (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/wumbo); Debate.org thread to determine whether or not “Wumbology is a valid science” (http://www.debate.org/debates/Wumbology-is-valid-science/1/); Quora question thread in which user asks “Where can I study Wumbology?” (https://www.quora.com/Where-can-I-study-Wumbology); fan-made website for the University of Wumbology (http://theuniversityofwumbology.weebly.com/). – ProtoCanon3 months ago
While these noncanonical testaments to fans’ devotion to a gag make for fun reading (especially when you have a deadline for a thesis chapter rapidly approaching), I encourage the prospective author to take them with a grain of salt and refrain from deviating from the diegetically provided grammatical criteria as outlined by Patrick. For example, many of these extratextual statements define wumbology as “the study of ALL THINGS wumbo,” which is grammatically contrary to Patrick’s “the study of wumbo.” It may seem negligible, but the addition of “all things” negates the necessity of a noun form, since it instead retains an adjectival connotation as a means of describing certain “things” without the implication of wumbo as an observable autonomous entity which may be studied (i.e. a noun). For this analysis to assert any authority, it must resign itself to the rules established by the term’s progenitor. Furthermore, the Uncyclopedia page makes up a lot of material without any basis in the episode for the sake of humour. This should not be trusted as an authoritative source of information, since it allows its satire on the form of web-based encyclopedic resources take precedence over its utility as one such resource. This leads me to my final point: avoid compromising the integrity of this inquiry for the sake of satire. Obviously the question itself is absurd -- since wumbo is a silly word by its very design, coined by a fictional anthropomorphic starfish in a children’s cartoon -- but that absurdity does not necessitate a default invalidation of the central premise. For those interested in linguistics, this may prove to be a genuine case study for testing the fallibility and limitations of the rules which govern human communication. And, even for those who simply see this as a joke, there are few things funnier than treating something fundamentally frivolous with the most earnest sincerity and analytical vigour. – ProtoCanon3 months ago
So far, Samurai Jack’s Season 5 has been receiving positive responses. Despite it becoming darker in tone, the show contained the balance between seriousness and humor. Its transition to Adult Swim allowed more freedom in terms of subject matters, especially with violence. But the show retained the feel of the old seasons though it became darker. Jack killed a person for the first time, and he suffers from guilt and hallucinations. But despite the shift in tone, the audience can still feel that this is Samurai Jack they used to know and love.
It would be worthwhile to examine how the Season 5 of Samurai Jack retained its essence despite the change in the mood. For example, how does the violence in Season 5 compare to the old seasons? Was there a precursor to Jack’s dilemma in the old episodes? How effective was the transition?
I think it would also be interesting to contrast the shift in narrative between the previous seasons and season 5. We can see the maturation of the shows content and also of the protagonist. Jack is not the same person, but is the same hero/samurai, which represents a moral/warrior code that is alien to the futuristic settings at the beginning of the series. I think it would be a really interesting topic to write on especially with the introduction of Ashi, and her role as a foil to Jack. – JConn136 months ago
It would be interesting to look at how Genndy Tartakovsky's other work after the original Samurai Jack series affected how the new season took shape. Whether it made the progress more understandable, or like I think, made it even more surprising! – Marcus Dean4 months ago
Every brief glimpse the audience of Steven Universe is allowed into the nature of the crystal gems’ Homeworld conveys it to be an environment remarkably Huxleian in quality. The denizens of the planet are all created for highly specific purposes (from which they are not allowed to deviate): Pearls are personal attendants, Rubies are soldiers, and of course, Diamonds are monarchs who rule over everyone else. Such a social structure is reminiscent of that which is present in Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’ Is this a valuable comparison to make? To what extent is it true? Additionally, in what ways (with the characters’ interactions on Earth) do the cast of Steven Universe affront Homeworld’s status quo? Is the message their resistance sends to watchers valuable? If so, how?
I think Homeworld's message is "everyone in their place, and the places are preassigned," while the Crystal Gems say, "Everyone finds their own place." There should definitely be discussion of class and aristocracy regarding the Homeworld. – IndiLeigh6 months ago
Surrealism was introduced into the U.S. through a series of exhibitions in the early to mid 1930’s at the height of the Great Depression. For the most part Surrealism existed in the popular consciousness as a sideshow act, a cartoonish form of entertainment. Discuss some of the works shown at these early Surrealist exhibitions and compare them to American cartoons of the time. Do they actually mirror elements of the Surrealist aesthetic? What is it that is potentially surreal about cartoons in the first place? Paintings by Dali can be compared to Walt Disney, etc.
Cartoons like South Park and The Boondocks are known for their provocative humour. However, its hard to imagine the same jokes and subject matter in a live-action format being tolerated in mainstream culture. Consider whether the worlds of cartoons, due to their overt incongruence with real life on the superficial level, make this kind of humour more palatable. Also, discuss the significance of cartoons for public conversation and free speech. Do cartoons and the universes they create allow us to indulge in taboo conversations in a way that is more difficult with more realistic material?
Definitely. I mean having these topics brought up in an 'unreal' world surely makes these things easier to say, and therefore, easier for viewers to stomach? Same kind of logic that applies to depersonalisation through online communication I suppose.
– TomWadsworth7 months ago