Sunday, November 28, 2010

Story vs. Storytelling

After getting into animation, I’ve been watching/studying movies (animated or live action) for quite some time and to be frank, I’ve found only a FEW to be actually good. I started thinking why. Quite a lot of the movies that didn’t work for me have actually done really well at the Box office. So what is it that I didn’t find interesting?

I sat and analyzed it, and I almost was on the verge of declaring myself a freak and dialing the nearest Asylum, when I finally saw the light!! It was really the storyTELLING that was the culprit. Ah ah aaaah, please note, I’m not talking about the story or the concept here… but the TELLING part of it.

The more I thought about it, the more it dawned to me. Stories may be great, but if the storyTELLING doesn’t work, it’s as good as a goner! This led me to the conclusion that


“STORY IS KING BUT STORYTELLING IS KING-ER!!” (You can quote me on that... ahem ahem!)


Ask yourselves one simple question. When you were a kid, and your grandparent, mom, dad or whoever used to tell you bedtime stories, what would actually enthrall you? Yes the story had to be interesting. But more than that, it was how it was TOLD that would keep you rooted and glued. The way they would change their tone to express every emotion, describe every situation until you were imagining the EXACT thing they were trying to make you imagine… THAT sold the story. You felt the story because they felt the storytelling!

And this is what has been carried on to the world of film-making. The director tries to convey the SAME feel, only this time instead of actually being there and narrating, he’s doing it through frames (meaning, through staging, colours, lighting, acting, music, all that jazz). (And well, of course there are movies that have a narrator too, like Little Manhattan for instance!). If the frames have normal staging and stuff, then the director is probably telling you THOSE parts of the story in a normal tone. If the frames have tensed staging (and stuff), THOSE parts are where he changes his tone to a dramatic one to express that feeling, much like your elder(s) did while telling you bedtime stories. And if you’ve come back from the movie BLOWN away, then the director has successfully told you his story!

Telling a story is really a feeling. You’re trying to convey a feeling in your heart through the magic of storytelling, be it vocally, or visually. And that feeling can make or break a great story.

Let me give you an example of what I’m trying to say. Let’s say, I have a concept, an idea, and I really wanna tell people about it in a way that they’d never forget…. because the idea means so much to me!

So here’s the idea/concept: “People should be careful when they’re walking alone on lonely streets, lest they get robbed/beaten up by goons”. Man I love my concept! So I now wanna tell a story/ a situation that would enlighten it more. Here goes:


“You're walking from Church, alone, in one of the toughest parts of the suburbs. You're nervous, timid, looking over your shoulder when suddenly you encounter him pouncing from the shadows, the streetlight flashes on something shiny in his hand, no time to think, whoosh whoosh whoosh!” (that “whoosh whoosh whoosh” is the sound he makes with his knife, the shiny thing in his hand… yes he kills you!) [taken from a deleted scene from Liar Liar actually]


So there! You like the story eh? Heck it’s swell! But it’s still in written form. What if I told you the story verbally like THIS?



Like it now? No?? It sucks?? It almost put you to sleep?? DARN!! All the months and years I spent working on my super amazing concept, went down the drain!!!

Okay gimme another chance! Let me tell you the SAME story like THIS.



That better? Woohoo I‘m back on the job!!

So you see what I’m trying to say? The first one had everything in a monotone. No tension, no buildup, no drama. It only acted as a sleeping pill. Bedtime story indeed!

The second one immediately got you “INTO” the story, simply because of the way he spoke (and why not, it’s Jim Carrey after all!). You could almost IMAGINE the situation he was creating. And VOILA! He got an audience!

So now, instead of verbal, if a director were to say the SAME story VISUALLY, this is how it would/could look in both cases (try it with sound and without).

Here’s the first one:



Blah!! Ain’t it?

Here’s the second one:



Okay still not the best storyboard you've seen, but it's at least a little more interesting than the first, isn't it?

And if you notice, even without sound, you (hopefully) get the exact same feel I'm trying to convey through frames. There's an amazing video on YouTube that tells exactly this from a different perspective. Check it out!

So that’s my whole point! No matter how hard you work on creating a great concept, a great story… it won’t matter a bit if you ain’t TELLING it right! The characters have to evolve, the plot has to thicken, the situations should rhythmically alter between normal to funny to dramatic to emotional, and yes the Pay Off should be worth the Build Up.

One great tip I read in “The Illusion of Life” is to never take away a moment JUST when the audience starts to enjoy it! And to add to that, I’d like to say never DRAG a moment too. It should be a perfect balance. The audience should neither feel bored watching an overpushed situation because they had already anticipated long back what to expect next, nor should they be like “Woah! I was just starting to love that scene, and its gone!”

Maybe this is why many of the SUPERHIT movies don’t work for me. Let’s compare two such blockbusters “Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo” and “Dreamworks Madagascar”. If I write down only the concepts/ideas of both movies, they would be:

MADAGASCAR: A bunch of zooborn animals let loose in a real jungle.

FINDING NEMO: An overprotective dad fish loses his son and goes to find it.

So which sounds more interesting? To me it’s definitely the former. It really opens up so many new possibilities, so many exciting situations, while the other sounds like a lame tale straight out of daily soaps.

But after watching both the movies, I have to admit, I couldn’t help but being moved by Finding Nemo.

The execution was so amazing, the characters were so well etched out, the pacing of the film was so rhythmic, and yes, the storyTELLING was so beautiful, it really held me in awe! At this point I feel forced to mention that when Dory was first introduced, and she said she suffered from short term memory loss, I was like “Oh man! Now she’s gonna annoy me with her ‘forgetful’ behavior by bringing in forced humour.” But no… not even ONCE did I find her annoying. Her memory loss element was so timely and efficiently used in the film that I couldn’t help but laugh my lungs out AND at the same time, care for her with an “Awww”!

Meanwhile although Madagascar wasn’t really that bad, but on the whole it only seemed like a bag of jokes to me. The characters didn’t really connect, the situations seemed forced, all in all, to me, the storytelling fell flat in the face! Only characters I liked in the movie were the penguins and King Julian!

So that made me realize that unless your TELLING is good, your story ain’t going nowhere!

Now you may ask me, “But I’m just a painter, an illustrator, an animator, a modeler, a photographer, how can I be a good storyTELLER? Isn’t that really the storyboard artist’s and the Director’s job??” Not really! EVERYONE can be a good storyteller. It can be through words, paintings, drawings, animations, modeling, sculpting, photography, music, ANYTHING!

If you don’t believe me, check out Pascal Campion’s illustrations, or my good friends Sumeet Surve’s or Roshan’s work. They tell stories in just one frame! The staging, the colours, the energy, the movement, the expressions, all these factors come into telling a story in a drawing/painting. For photography, check out my good friends Varun Thottahil’s or Santhosh Pai’s work. For modeling, check out the awesome Anand PG's work. They tell amazing stories too!

We’re all storytellers. And I strongly believe that if told well, we can make the SIMPLEST of actions look interesting. There can't be a better example of this than Bird Box Studios. Check out their shorts if you haven't already!

To illustrate this point further, check out this small clip from one of my favourite movies ‘Swades’.



The situation is simple: the guy wants the girl to hide the cigarette pack so his mom doesn’t see it (she’s not actually his mom but he considers her to be).

The situation could be dealt with in so many ways. It could’ve finished in half the time it takes here, or even less. But the director chose this. Why? Because it not only gives us an easily connectible situation, but also shows the playful chemistry between the girl and the boy which they share in the whole movie, and tells us so much about their personalities. Here’s how. I’ve tried to break down the scene and give the unspoken communication between the actors some speech of what their thought process could be during this sequence (please ignore the mom’s lines, for all who do not understand the language, she’s simply praising the caravan facilities):

Guy: “Hey! Heeeeey!”
Girl: “Huh?”
Guy: “You see those?”
Girl: “What?”
Guy: “THERE THERE!! DOWN THERE!”
Girl: “Ahaa! Cigarettes!”
Guy: “Please put them away, please!!”
Girl: “How about I simply tell your mom about it?”
Guy:”Oh no!! Not that! C'mon a little help here! Put them away PLEASE???”
Girl:”Sheesh! There you go.”
Guy:”Thanks, oh thank you so much!!”
Girl: “Whatever.”

It tells you the guy is sweet because he obviously 'likes' her (he doesn’t get all pissed off and turn chauvinistic when she doesn’t agree to put them away at first), and he respects his mom to the point of NOT letting her know that he smokes; the girl is playful and modern, with her own set of ideals and is not too impressed by the guy or his oh-so-cool caravan (and also later in the movie you realize she actually doesn’t like smokers). What a way to tell so much through such a simple situation!

Even in animation, we have the power to do the same thing. Check out these VERY simple situations done by my good friends Vinay Prasad, Asif Siddiqui and Harish. K (please note, some are not final yet… as they told me):

Vinay:


Asif:


Harish:



Situations are so simple, yet told so interestingly. A passerby trying to eat free pastries but unfortunately paying a heavy price for it, an amateur golfer trying to play golf, a ballman trying to kick a ball away only to see it returning to him all the time.

So there you go! That was what my post was all about. I believe if a story is great, it still is only halfway there until storyTELLING pushes it to a whole new level! Heck good storytelling can even make a senseless story work: The SouthPark Movie or Andaaz Apna Apna for instance (well, yes, they worked for me!).

These are simply my ‘smartass’ thoughts. No way do I wanna say that what I think is the LAW!! I’d actually be obliged if we could have a nice discussion on this in the comments section… throw in your ideas (even if that means rubbishing mine completely), it’ll be great to share your thoughts too! So until next time, this smartass post ends here!

16 comments:

Adil dekate said...

Hey Dapoon .. Really insightfull stuff here... Ya I really Agree That Storytelling Is everything ... You know But Maybe I feel that It depends on Person to Person .. Like The way we see the world and how we grow up ...
It all affects on Which type of story telling we really DIG !!

For ex - I Love PREDATOR .. Ya the Old one :| .. Although It Didnt quite worked awesomely for many ..But I Still Get involved So deep in the story .. I cant help It..
The reason is I've grown Up watching that movie ( Still I am ) :)

For other People They may have read hundreds of War like Books ..or seen war like movies ..and everytime they see LOTR or Braveheart .. They Love It .. :)
This can be divided into so many things...
So all these things Come into effect when we are seeing a story I think ..

There are movies Which Some people dont like and thousands love ... Like LOTR
Although Its a masterpiece ( For me :P ) Some people may find it too long and may run out of patience ( many I repeat Many of my close friends :| ) Which I really dont understand...

So I guess It DEPENDS :| ....Thats a huge word XP

DEPENDS :D

P.S. - And Really good work on the research ..I really never heard the LIAR LIAR deleted dialogue before.. Its Awesome :D
The storyboards were also great...eventhough the 1st one as yu said is dull ..the Whoosh Whoosh one Tickled My funny bone XD
Although I HATE Shah rukh Khan.. The scene was really nicely told :)


To sum It Up ... Hey Dapoon .. Really insightfull ... DOHH >.<

damncreative said...

Hey daopoon, that was fantastic. Great revision for myself. And makes me happy to have a fellow animator who shares the same thought but taken an extra effort to write a whole article about it, truly inspiring.

Storytelling is king'er.. very true bro.Storytelling is everything. Even a simple idea can be told in innovative ways. Why pixar is the best. We already know the answer. Their story telling capabilities are incredible.Just take BUGS LIFE and TOY STORY for example . They didn't have the technology of what we have today. But still those movies make you watch again and again and keep enjoying it every time.

Love the boards.Great storytelling man. Like it. Great piece from LIAR LIAR. It was listening to bed time stories for sure. Its fascinating that Story can be told thorough so many ways, mediums and forms. Lets come up with innovative stories before we perish from this world. Thanks for putting up my work daps. I am honored. Great post, Absolutely loved , may be one day i see you in some big expo giving seminars .. :)

Dattaprasad said...

Story… Storytelling…Wohow! Dapoon, you’ve just picked up two giants there… on one corner there’s Story… standing tall on theme, premises, plots, conflicts, structures, acts, story arcs, character development and what not.

Then there’s Storytelling… grounded firmly on editing, music, inflections, gestures, mannerisms, camera angles, colors, costumes and other blah, blah, blah.

‘Story v/s Storytelling’ phew… that’s a tough one right there. Kind of like a wrestling match:
‘Undertaker Vs. Kane’
Face-to-face its hard to say who’s better? who’s gonna win?

My Answer: NONE OF THEM!! Coz there’s somebody else in the entertainment town who’s gonna floor and pin both of them, to his victory. For the first time in my life, has come an opportunity that a significant question is going to be answered using a Wrestling match.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6XDx-BOs4Y

Who’s the stone cold of entertainment arena? Coming Soon.

Dattaprasad said...

Dapoon has presented a very elegant and elaborate discussion in favor of Storytelling; I'd like to share a few more things on it and then cover a third angle.

Storytelling, a skill to engage the audience/viewers/readers to the given story. The presence of word skill itself implies a deliberate attempt on the part of a person to enhance the given set of circumstances. But that is not always necessary, beautiful stories unfold impromptu in front of cameras which had no such intention what so ever.

Dumbest Criminal video series and Funniest Home Video series are instances of comedy… then there’s WTC footage of pure horror, animal attacks, ufo videos, etc., . These are stories with almost a nil attempt at story telling, they just happened to be at the right place at right time. Yet they involve us like any carefully staged cinema does.

Then there’s a whole genre of martial arts movies like Rumble in the Bronx, Ong-bak, Tom-yung-goong, etc., which couldn’t care any less about a good story or storytelling and just concentrated on cool stunts. They too are equally engaging.(C’mon don’t act artsy fartsy now, you know you liked them.)

Same argument goes for Cult so-bad-that-it's-good movies like Gunda, Clerk,etc.,

So definitely neither is story the king nor storytelling.

Question naturally arises, then who is? who dictates what works and what not? What element referees these, choose to make them play according to rules OR impose a no holds barred match... then give a stone cold stunner to win it himself?

My answer would be all of them had either intentionally or unintentionally were successful in doing one thing, arousing our EMOTIONS.

Dattaprasad said...

Final part covering my argument in favor of emotions, in some time.

Dapoon said...

Thanks for the great comments guys! Glad you liked it! :)

@ Adil, well yeah I agree. The same movie could work for some, but may not for others. Like, Madagascar didn't work for me, despite millions of others finding it hilarious! I guess different people view storytelling differently and thus get affected differently. But in the end it still IS storyTELLING that holds them captive! Don't you think?

@ Vinay thanks bro! Dude seminars and me?? I got stage fright so bad I start shivering from the THOUGHT of it! Glad you liked it man! And I'm glad it could resonate with your feelings! Soon we'll be doing some kickass (not smartass) work! :D

@ Datta, WOOOW!! That's some amazing third angle! Frankly speaking, candid home videos really slipped my mind!! DOH! >.< So much for my research!!
But now if I think about it, and when I recall all those Funny Home Videos or Dumbest Criminal Videos or even the horrifying WTC type videos, I still can *gulp* dare to say that there's STILL some sort of a storytelling element in them that captivates you (intentional or unintentional). Storytelling is seriously a vast subject and I obviously didn't cover all the elements (that's another way of saying I don't know them all! :P)
I dunno, it could be the build up and pay off that got you hooked, or maybe the fast actions, or simply the narration. To this, I'd like to bring about a small example. Try watching a News channel with the newreader in the newsroom looking at the camera BUT WITH MUTE ON! Try not looking at the thumbnail videos on the corners, or the headlines running across the screen. Just look at him/her. How long can you keep watching? Sure if she's good looking, you wouldn't mind staring at her your whole life eh? :D But then seriously, it's not very interesting to watch that. Because there's NO storytelling in that. Just a video of a person sitting and yakking away. So there you go! :)
And when it comes to those movies you mentioned, I still think movies are always made with the CLEAR intention of selling.. meaning making it as entertaining as possible... meaning making the storytelling as gripping as possible, be it in showing quick cut scenes or mindless humour. :)

These are again just my thoughts. Do drop in more such awesome third angle views. They're very insightful actually! :D

sathya said...

Aww this is awesome. And Dapoon i think there was a little conversation on your Facebook regarding this Story Vs Storytelling. Okay!Back on track "what an amazing post, aww i loved it " but i was expecting someone to say about "Disney" 2d animated films or the Disney way of storytelling or something about the nine old men. Okay no problem though. Herewego, someday's back when is was totally jobless i read a quote written by Glen Keane (am not sure about the name, it may be Glenn Mc queen or Eric Goldberg) The quote was written on a scribbled paper.

"Why do i animate"?

"Because i wanna tell a story,
i wanna create emotions" and so on...

Am just saying (sharing) this because they have already given us a message that story telling is an important thing in a movie. And before a month i read another quote by our Joe Ranft, hope you all knew about joe and his character. I would like to live like him. His quote was

" If the story isn't there, all the breakthrough computer graphics in the world pile on to it won't matter" - Joe Ranft.

Story really matters for Disney and Pixar. These old masters have already given us a strong message that Story and story telling is really important. And i wanna share about pixar folks indicating or telling us about the lost of joe ranft in their recent film TS3. Aww that was a touchy scene. Isn't it ?. And Carlos baena have also said that "Glenn mc queen had shared lot of story telling stuff's with him in his last days".

huh am i boring you guys ?.... okay am gonna wrap up with a last comment

COMMENT ON COMMENTS:

@Adil dekate: Yeah buddy i too felt like that. It really hurts when people pass a comment on a film which we think thats the best movie ever. For me it was "CARS".I loved that movie. But lot of people says that the only under rated film of Pixar is CARS. But for me the best film done by Pixar is CARS CARS CARS. And as Dapoon said different people view a story in a different way and different people tells a story in a different way and finally its all about story and the story telling. :D

@Dapoon : Hey man thanx for the post. Good luck.

@Everyone:
Live your life
Live in your own world
And lets go Nuts.

Nomita said...

Hey Dapoon, Real good artcle. Keep it coming.
Cheers!
Nomita

Dattaprasad said...

Before you read the final part I’d like to say a few things:

1.The next comment is not an afterthought, although it appears so due to late submission, it’s continuation of my previous chain comments. I was just too lazy to write it. (that’s a serious excuse. I respect it so much that if were an in-charge in some office or school, I would accept it as totally legit reason for leave application.)

2.I found out that with skilled directors/writers/actors, the importance between the race between emotions or storytelling ceases to exist. A simple storytelling decision might be used to change the emotions evoked or pre-planned emotions may be used choose the style of storytelling.

3.After admitting that, I’m still biased towards emotions.

4.This article was the intended third angle, peechla article toh bas storytelling/story ke upar hi tha.

Dattaprasad said...

“ The story was about super-heroes, and it didn't matter which super-heroes it was about, as long as the characters had some kind of emotional resonance, that people would recognize them, so it would have the shock and surprise value when you saw what the reality of these characters was.”
-Alan Moore, on Watchmen

Final part me, ab koi lambi chowdi theory nahi batani bas ek-do examples aur links cover karne hai, which demonstrate my point that emotion dictates storytelling choices.

1. This Audio file contains Dibakar Bannerjee's interview discussing Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!. Its a gold mine of cinematic insights, has repeat value just like his films. But I'd like you to consider,for now, only those parts where he's discussing emotions. Dibakar Bannerjee uses a term ‘Emotional Pornography’ pejoratively. It actually addresses a construction of story and story telling in such a way that they’re built around and towards emotional cumshots (pay-offs). How he used it in Khosla ka Ghosla, but then he breaks those very rules in starting part… coz he’s got an emotional connect with that milieu. Then came the Goggi part where resorts back to emotional pay-off formula.

He also describes an editing out of an otherwise funny line from a scene because he was supposed to maintain the tense mood. And not just editing out, he also edits in a few shots and photographs in climax, which weren’t originally planned, to push the tear buttons.

2.Then there’s this unconventional-technical nightmare Amusement Park murder shot which Hitchcock used and he explained the purpose of it, that audience is less disturbed by the violence if it is aestheticized in some way.

3.Hitchcock on Evoking Emotional Response

4.Hitchcock on Mystery and Suspense : pretty much explains the more the emotional content better the story and storytelling is.

5.Hitchcock Bomb Theory

Read Also:
‘Hitchcock : His True Power Is Emotion’ by Francois Truffaut

See Also:
Parwana Bomb sequence, which might have made Hitchcock turn in his grave. Race against time, unaware crowds and a song to counterpoint the tension, It had all the elements to make a nail biting climax. It’s hard to tell, which was a bigger failure here… the lack of reaction from crowds (emosun part) the guy is doing insane motor-cycle stunts in a crowded place and nobody’s even reacting; or the editing… why is bomb’s clock going in slow motion when everything outside is happening in real time.


[sigh]
I Rest my case.

Dattaprasad said...

Damn, my ignorance of blogs. All the bloody tedious tagging of links goes to waste. But you should find most of them through youtube/google.

Dibakar Bannerjee's interview is from passionforcinema.com, titled 'Dibakar Unplugged'

Sorry, for inconvenience.

Dapoon said...

@ Nomita, thanks so much! Great stuff on your blog too!! :)

@ Sathya, thanks buddy! I'm sorry I missed out on the Nine Old Men or Disney's storytelling. I only wanted to project an OVERVIEW of what I felt about Story v/s Storytelling. And (if I may) to add to what the awesome Joe Ranft had said, "If the storyTELLING isn't there, all the amazing stories, scripts, characterizations won't matter too!" :D

@ Datta, first of all, I thank you for providing these AWESOME materials!! This discussion is proving very insightful indeed! So now it's Emotions V/S Storytelling!!

Now I don't mean to sound like a stubborn jerk, but after listening to Dibakar and watching all the Hitchcock's (AMAZING) videos (including that Amusement park murder sequence), I would STILL STILL STILL favour storytelling.

Infact I now strongly believe that storyTELLING really evokes emotions.

After watching the Hitchcock videos, I can safely say that he was saying the same thing that I am (geez okay shoot me for trying to put myself in the same light as Hitchcock)!! But seriously, be it Mystery v/s suspense or Evoking an emotional response, he was just subconsciously laying stress on storyTELLING!

He said he was not interested in what the content is, but in HOW to handle the material to create an emotion in an audience. Which simply implies that he relies on storyTELLING (not the story) to create that emotion. If an amazing story is told in a dull way, it'll hardly keep you interested, but even a senseless story can work wonders and create emotions in all of us SIMPLY if it's told well!

He said the same thing about Mystery v/s Suspense. Mystery is an intellectual process while suspense is an EMOTIONAL process. But he also went on to say that you can get the 'suspense' element (meaning the emotional element) by GIVING the audience information. Now HOW exactly do you give the information? BINGO!! By storytelling again!!

Even the Murder sequence was riding high on storytelling to EVOKE an emotion in you. Take my storyboards for instance (AAARGH!! Another bullet through my brain for comparing my work with Hitchcock's!!). It's the same story, but which board got you interested EMOTIONALLY? Obviously the second one! Why is that? Simply because the storyTELLING was better. If it really didn't matter, then the first one should've been just as interesting... but it's not! That's my point!

At this point, I feel forced to say that there may be some stories/movies we already are emotionally attracted to even before reading or watching them. E.g. even before watching Titanic, I was drawn to the movie because I was told its story long before James Cameron made it. So when I was watching the movie, I was already emotionally involved in it, regardless of the story or the storytelling. Why? Because it was already TOLD to me before... and in a very interesting way, which back then, made me give a great emotional response right then and there. So while watching the movie, I was already sold even before it began! :D (Unfortunately though many of the movies made today don't really match up to those pre-conceived emotions.)

As far as Dibakar is concerned, he talks about the Emotional cumshots, which simply implies the audience is too fed on happy endings, or complete stories (beginning, middle, end), or similar story structures, so they wanna look for those parts in the movies that give them the 'emotional cumshots'! I agree with him. But again story structures can be reversed ('Memento', for example), movies can leave cliff hangers ('Look', for example), or may not even have a happy ending ('Sadma' for instance), and STILL be just as interesting. Because no matter the structure, no matter the ending, the film has to sell. And storyTELLING makes sure of that.

So that's again my humble point of view! :) I too rest my case.. for now! :D

Dattaprasad said...

Oh praji, tussi kamaal ke paradox ho humble bhi ho te smartass bhi ho, lage raho :D

KASANA said...

Loudly Said. This post has done her job beautifully.What you tells was only important till now but How you tells the story became equally important.
Thanks for bringing the point of Illusion of life.An eye opener for a beginner like me.
Only thing I can't agree with this post is ... Example of Swadesh or to be more explicit 'Shahrukh khan.' >:

Jim said...

Excellent post! I would totally agree that without effective storytelling, a well-structured story will simply die on the vine.

In regards to Madagascar vs. Nemo, the reason Pixar films always seem to resonate more fully than Dreamworks films is because they tell *complete stories*, meaning that they naturally cover the four throughlines needed to make an emotionally satisfying argument (i.e. they mean something). Point-of-fact, Nemo almost has two complete stories in it! (Dad and Nemo, Nemo and Gil). Dreamworks films will often sacrifice a throughline or two in order to make room for more gags or action sequences (Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda being the exception). It has been awhile since I've seen the first Madagascar but I vaguely remember something broken about it somewhere in the vicinity of the final Act. This is more than likely your source of discontent with it.

Thanks for letting me know about this post!

Dapoon said...

@ Datta, haha! I'm not a paradox, I'm paranoid!! :D

@ Kasana, thanks bro! And didn't you know I put up that (switches on Caps Lock and Bold) SHAH RUKH KHAN example only and ONLY for you? :P

@ Jim, HEY JIM!! I'm honoured that you liked this post! I'm a big fan of your website (storyfanatic.com). I completely agree with Finding Nemo having 2 or 3 underlying themes (much like a lot of other Pixar movies). In fact I read somewhere that Finding Nemo had 3 underlying stories, Marlyn & Nemo, Marlyn & Dory and Nemo & Gill. And the reason why this was done is because:

1. Marlyn meets Dory: so that he can see that if you're not always overprotective, but learn to be a little optimistic (like Dory), you can actually do great things (like, making it to Sydney).

2. Nemo meets Gill: Nemo has always hated his dad for being too protective. When he meets Gill, he suddenly gets excited because he finally meets someone who's ACTUALLY giving him the freedom to brave danger. But when things don't go right, Nemo realises his dad wasn't so wrong after all and learns why he was so protective of him.

In either cases, both dad and son learn something about each other and learn to respect each other by becoming better themselves. :)

Jim, I again thank you so very much for taking the time out to read this post. And keep up the amazing work on your site. Lots to learn there, especially for newbies like me. :)