The Role of Identity of an Animated Character in the Story Line

Soraia Mohamed Sobeih

The identity of an animated character means who he really is, or what are the characteristics that would never change? How the character sees himself and how others see him? It includes shape, color, race, beliefs, and choices in life.

The more the storyteller gives identity to his animated character, the more it is sound and convincing.  In that sense, it touches the audiences’ hearts as they feel its pain or happiness. In other words, they are involved in the story and united with the character.

As the story begins, characters and settings are presented before the audience to get an overview of the characters’ identity. Then, more elements are to show up, like the conflict, the problem that needs to be solved and the rising actions, which are series of events that lead to the high main point or the climax. It is considered as a turning point of the story after which the falling actions come.  The falling actions are events and complications that start to loosen the plot. Gradually, the solution shows up as the story ends either happily or tragically.

Throughout the story line, these groups of events that form the story sometimes account for the appearance of an identity crisis that impact the character. It means that he is uncertain of his feelings about himself; he gets confused about what type of person he is or what is the true purpose of his life. It always takes making an existential that plays a big role in the story line.

The identity crisis appear in Toy Story 1995 to Buzz light-year when he discovers the truth of himself; that he is a toy, not a space ranger as he thought before. This made him give up hope of returning anywhere. It took him sometime to accept the fact of himself after seeing how Woody struggles to return them both to Andy. He tries his best to save his friend and return home safely, as being dictated by the role’s vision.

In Toy Story 2 1999, the identity crisis appear to Woody when Buzz strikes him with the fact that he is not a collector’s item. He is a child’s play thing, he is a toy. Then, a decision has to be made to return to Andy, and the struggles start with the Prospector.

In Toy Story 3, 2010, the identity crisis appear to Woody at the end of the story. He was suffering to be away from all his toy family that will be left in the attic, so he wrote on the box to be donated and he attached himself in, with them hoping that Andy gives him a very warm goodbye and leaves him with the rest of the toys in good hands.

In Finding Nemo 2003, the identity crisis for Nemo is when he chooses to touch the boat, even though it is a dangerous thing, just to prove to his father and his friends that he is brave. It led him to fall in the capture and to meet other fish.

Keywords

Identity, Identity Crisis, Animation, Animated Characters, Story Line.

References

Peter J. Burke (2009), Jan E. Stets, Identity Theory, Oxford University Press,

Harris Williams (2013), Animation, Globalization and Cultural Identity, Master, SVA, USA

Robert Velarde; The Wisdom of Pixar, An animated Look at Virtue, IVP book

Lim, T. W. (2017).50 Years of Singapore–Japan Relations. World Scientific Publisher.

Miller, G. E. (2014, November 01). How anime inspired Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6’. Retrieved August 30, 2017, from http://nypost.com/2014/11/01/will-disneys-japanese-anime-big-hero-6-get-lost-in-translation/

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