The Hero’s Journey

  1. “The Hero’s Journey,’ is a good read that makes me think of a couple different movies but one in particular: Kung Fu Panda. This comedy illustrates heroic acts from a different point of view. It starts with a lazy panda that is infatuated with Kung Fu but doesn’t have a lick of coordination or athletic ability. As he is working in his families’ soup he practices his martial arts moves. Po is randomly chosen to complete an ancient prophecy. His dreams have come true. Po joins the Furious Five in training. Po is no match to these guys they can run circles around Po. The master trainer, Master Shifu has his work cut out for him, he fully doubts that Po will be good at anything other than eating. Po puts in long days of training that ends up working to his advantage. The Five must fight Tia Lang a bad previous student of Master Shifu. Tia Lang fights and beats all the other Five and this is where Po comes in to save the day. Po uses his girth to help him beat Tia Lang and becomes the hero.                                                                       Po takes quite the journey during his training with Master Shifu. He gets around many obstacles that he finds with his size and stature. Po’s dreams were coming true pushing him to continue his training even when things were not going well. For the most part I believe that this movie follows “The Hero’s Journey,’ Po learned a lot about kung fu and at times thought that his dream wasn’t for him but with perseverance he pulled through eventually being the hero defeating Tia Lang.

 

  1.  I do not believe that current cinema meets or follows the points expressed in the Four Functions of Mythology. In order for cinema to reach the guidelines movies need to be from a piece of written work. As seen in many other students’ discussions I believe that movie producers are more focused on what people want to see which is what makes them money. The technology these days gives them many different options creating a tough environment for movie producers. If the producers were to go off of the four functions of mythology the movies would more than likely be super boring and no one would watch. In the third section of the mythology it talks about morals and social norms but the problem with this is that everyone has a different view on that these days.

4 thoughts on “The Hero’s Journey

  1. geborgeson

    I disagree with your answer to question two. I think that most movies do have a sense of the four functions of mythology, but done in such subtle and clever ways. Take “Avatar” for example. Big Hollywood Michael Bay movie. But in my opinion it includes all of the human needs desired for the four functions of myth. People just don’t see it or think about it because its not being explicitly said, instead its being implied. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

    The movie Avatar set the first function in my opinion because man kind has been forced to farm this new planet for resource. Which should be a message to the audience to cherish what we have now and to be responsible for it. The planet Avatar is the image of the cosmos that leave us to awe and wonder, and the portrayal of these two species and how they interact or trust one either is the foundation of the movie. If the racism between the two species, which should make the viewer think about racism or bias in our our own lives, didn’t exist their would have been no story. In my opinion good movies will invoke all four of the functions of myth, just not as directly as you may think.

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  2. gpetrie

    I like that you used Kung Fu Panda. I think that when people think of a traditional “hero finding his way” movie disney doesn’t really come to mind. Although looking at everyones posts it looks like they would disagree. Anyways I think you argument is interesting. I do however, think that movies follow the 4 functions of mythology, for the most part. Of course there will be movies that are purely nonsense or have no real structure but I think that for the majority of the time movies follow one or more of the functions.

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  3. sxkristoffersen

    Although the four functions of mythology can be argued as being in most films, I doubt they are always intentional. Although sadly, these four functions being the framework commonly used could explain most current films predictability and unoriginality. No matter, with each function there could be an entire movie barley grazing the entirety of its explanation. Great post, I agree with what you said.

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  4. jwmaring

    I don’t entirely agree with what you have stated for the second discussion point on this topic. But I choose to highlight what I can clearly agree with you on. This pertains to the third function of mythology, and I believe you are exactly right that not everyone agrees on moral and social norms. Hollywood to a certain extent I believe is wise to focus their attention on the things that people can agree on more often than not. I believe at other times Hollywood dances a fine line between what they get behind with regard to generally accepted ideals, and what an opinion they are trying to express actually in a film actually alienates sizable segments of a potential audience. I am going to refrain from specific examples for today, but hopefully you get my point. Good post.

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