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Posts tagged ‘Love’

Breakin’ out with my favourite Ogre

Story telling (animated or otherwise) depends on character arcs.  We’re all on some kind of journey; life is never static (even when we want it to be).  The character arcs we are most drawn to are the ones we need to learn from to help us on our own journeys.

My favourite is Shrek.  I’ll tell you why at the end, but you’ll probably figure it out before then.

Shrek starts his journey as a loner, he’s built some pretty serious walls around himself to keep everyone out . . . quite frankly, from the way the locals treat him, I don’t blame him.  People can be so freakin’ mean sometimes it seems that life would be better without the whole nasty stinkin’ lot of them.

He finishes surrounded by community, married and singing some rather rockin’ karaoke.

It didn’t happen by magic.  He took some very definite steps.  He had his trip forced on him, we don’t have to.  We can make decisions and take action that will take us to real friendships and love before the fairy tale creatures invade our swamps.

Sooooooooooo what did he do and more importantly, what can we do?

He accepted a deeply flawed, irritating, friend – who didn’t judge him.  Let’s face it, Donkey’s irritating, he has no concept of personal boundaries, or social norms and he doesn’t have a clue when he’s not wanted…but he’s a friend.   If you’re looking for a perfect friend/partner/spouse, you’re going to be very lonely.  There’s a difference between dangerous toxic people and people who can drive us crazy at times.  One of them needs to be avoided at all costs, one of them is . . . human (or a Donkey in Shrek’s case).  Some brilliant voice work here by Eddie Murphy By The Way.

He leaves his comfort zone.  Shrek doesn’t go willingly, he’s forced out, but he goes.  He moves into places that are uncomfortable, places he’s avoided in the past.  Do I have to explain this one? Nothing changes if nothing changes.  We can’t grow if we keep doing the same things we’ve been doing all along.  Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  Get out of your comfort zone.

He wins.  He lands in Duloc just in time for a tournament and he wins (with the help of his irritating friend).  We all have something we’re good at.  Often it’s something we dismiss because it’s so easy . . . for us.  Even small successes will yield amazing results to our self-esteem if we don’t totally dismiss them.

His journey continues and includes some really important points that I’ll come back to at some point, but I want to keep the Blogs short.

Accept people for the deeply and beautifully flawed individuals that they are, while you’re at it accept yourself for the same reasons.

Get out of your comfort zone.

Celebrate small successes.

I grew up feeling deeply alone.  I had very few social skills and suffered from a magical combination of pretention and low self-esteem.  I convinced myself I was happier alone and put a LOT of effort into proving I was right.  It’s taken decades to learn what Shrek learned.  I wish I’d learned it earlier.  I wish for you a whole community of irritating, loving friends . . . are there any other kind?

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Love and Romance in Agrabah

Let’s look at Disney’s Aladdin and see what we can learn.

Shortly after Aladdin and Jasmine meet in the market he takes her to his home on the rooftops.  It’s pretty clear to anyone paying attention that they’re falling in love.  There’s lots of eye contact, some “accidental” sexual contact (seriously, her bare cheek is on his naked chest at one point) and some pole-vaulting between buildings, a pretty normal teen romance. Bring on the violins and the cheesy love songs they’re in love.

BUT wait a sec.  They don’t know each other.  Here’s a great example of what I was talking about in my last post.  Just why are they falling for each other?  What does her subconscious mind see in him?  What does she represent to him?

Here’s what I think . . . because I know you want to know what I think.

Jasmine’s a young woman who needs freedom.  She lives in a prison, it’s a very nice prison, but she has to break out to go for a stroll around town.  She needs to be free.  It’s not just the palace that keeps her imprisoned, she lives an utterly ridged life: follows the rules, afraid to think for herself, she needs freedom.  He lives by himself, steals for a living and makes up his own rules, how could she not fall for him?  It doesn’t hurt that he looks pretty hot without a shirt on.

Aladdin’s a young man who is a diamond in the rough.  He lacks focus, drive, direction.  He doesn’t have a clue what he wants past his next meal.  His subconscious mind (much smarter than our conscious mind) sees a woman who knows what she wants and has gone to some lengths to get it, she’s focused and strong.  He doesn’t know she’s a princess yet, but have you seen her posture and her walk cycle?  Oh and she’s got pretty awesome eyes that you could get lost in for days.

Over the course of the film, they get to know each other and something like the beginnings of real love start to grow, but here on Aladdin’s rooftop, they’re being sucked in by their subconscious projections . . . and the crazy pole-vaulting.

I Want to be really clear here, I want you to fall crazy in love every once in a while (BRING IT ON – I WANT IT TOO) I just want you to know what’s really going on when it happens.

For a little more on the egghead Psych stuff around love and romance check out

http://animatingyourlife.com/2013/01/19/jung-and-freud-in-love/

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