These two films were extraordinary I enjoyed the fiction and fantasy that involved both of them. Using the mind of two young girls the authors gives me a clear understanding of what they are trying to do which is to entertain the audience with the idea of transitioning from one point in life to the other; in this case a coming of age. The symbols were to young brave little girls that have to learn a valuable lesson in the stage they are in order to move onto the next but on their way they struggle with a greedy and selfish society with whom they have to learn to survive. These films have a great sense of mythology by portraying cultural traditions of people leaving their childhood behind to enter adulthood and also life after death. It’s more than only the idea of transition but what is there to encounter in the process.
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Shinto from Spirited away and Ofelia from Pan’s Labyrinth both show a love towards family which is brought up to the table when they have to perform tasks in where they become young adults. In reality there was always an adult inside them they just had to trust themselves to reach the maximum level of authority: their voice. They have to learn how stand for themselves because in real life there isn’t always someone telling you what to do. People don’t make decisions for other people but can influence them in many ways. The authors were successful with their intentions of portraying evolution in both films. In both movies every character is a mix of good and bad quality and actions with choices that have a ripple effect.
It was a great idea to pair this movie with the Spirited away because they both share the idea of initiation. In Spirited away we have Chihiro symbolizing every young child who by entering the adult world experiences a substantial and shocking transition of adulthood and the world of work. This film lets the audience know that idleness is a luxury of childhood. The hard work that this young girl portrays is what makes not only her but every other child stronger, a more capable person, and learn to deal with problems maturely. Spirited away show how humans are greedy and how greed is always destructive. Food is a symbol to portray expulsion after consumption. Every time you do something there are consequences for it. Water represents freedom, life and death. The character no face is a symbol of a stranger, actually of anybody that because they didn’t know who they were or what they were worth became influence by a greedy society that only cared for gold to benefit themselves and grow wealthier. Pan’s Labyrinth is a profound movie telling the story of Ofelia a young girl whose quest is to escape the cruelties of Spanish Fascism. All over the world there are children like her that find ways to escape one world to enter their own. The faun protecting her from the world’s cruelty like any other guardian of a child would. Ofelia is a young girl with a wild imagination; obsess with books and fairy tales who meets a faun that tells her that she is a princess from the “underworld”. He promises her that she can go there and reunite with her father as long as she completes three tasks. In her attempts to complete these tasks, Ofelia is forced to deal with the reality of mortality, the absurdity of war and the meaning of self sacrifice. The tale revolves around the juxtaposition of the harsh and oppressive nature of the real world with the magical and sometimes disturbing fairy tale world of the little girl. in this film Ofelia has to restore the all important balance needed to embark in to her alchemical transformation. The adults surrounding her certainly do not believe in what cannot be physically seen, making her quest quite a lonely one. When Ofelia dies in her last task where she sacrifices for her little brother I can clearly see her successful initiation when she reunites with her parents in the underworld; the gate way to another world.
Pan’s labyrinth describes the quest of a young girl unable to cope with the harshness of the physical world, where dehumanization and repression crush her innocent and playful spirit. It has been shown that children often psychologically respond to an unbearable reality by dissociating in to a fantasy world, where magic, adventure and wonder are found. Spirited Away describes how a child behaves when they are that young; they are spoil, whiners and complain a lot. Human greed is the reason why these children can’t succeed because they won’t give them the support they need. They are so focused on what they want that they forget there is a child in need of knowledge.
In conclusion, both of these films are concentrated in the idea of initiation and transition from childhood to adulthood. People can’t make other people decisions that wouldn’t make you independent. Either we become leaders or followers we cannot be both. It takes time to learn and wisdom to remember who you are where you going and who you want to be. Both of the films follow the traditional “hero journey” template towards the next stage in life. In Spirited away the director introduces the audience to a child that takes everything for granted including her parents and the process in which she brings out her inner self in transition to adulthood. Pans labyrinth focuses more on the way that childhood fantasy and wonder contrast with the often harsh realities of adulthood. . They both tell their opinions with the same concept of initiation and transition. It’s a part of life to grow experience and learn that is what makes us humans. We all have to learn how to deal with our own problems and be mature to survive in a world filled with greed.
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