25 March 2012
Fantasy and Moral Values
When indulged in the world of science fiction a lot of stories are suppose to end in a happy ending, (that usually proposes the statement that is a message or story conveyed to have a lesson learned after witnessing the event.) In comparison we were able to experience two films at hand: Pan’s Labyrinth, which was a film about freedom from dictatorship through a battle of good vs. evil, and Spirited Away, an anime turned English film about a young girl who loses herself in the spirit world has to find away back home. Both films have similar stories about two girls whom are looking for a place to call home.
Although both films were highly viewed and accredited, Pan’s Labyrinth was the winner of three academy awards. Pan’s Labyrinth has more moral value within its story than Spirited Away. There’s proof within the ratings and criticism each film was received to give enough evidence to weigh out the options to help any reader decide which film had a better moral to its story.
The first thing to think about would be the story to each film itself and the thought of most viewers of this film. To help educate myself further on this matter I began my research on the reviews of Spirited Away. My personal opinion is that I did indeed enjoy this film more than Pan’s Labyrinth, but I don’t think that it had better placement of morals in this film. Many viewers across the web would disagree with that statement because Spirited Away has received numerous high marks when it came to web reviews. Many would also argue that it is a movie rated PG, which restricts the way that the film could be compared. I would simply respond that, I’m only comparing the story given and the impressions it leaves on their audiences, not what the content has to offer. If Pan’s Labyrinth had the film censored it would not have been a great movie as it turned out to be. The graphic nature of this film helps the viewers understand the plight of Ofelia. Spirited Away is similar to this but giving that it’s a cartoon it doesn’t have the “fear” effect on the viewer like Pan’s Labyrinth. Both films have children fighting for their parent(s).
Spirited Away took the world by storm because it was anime turned into an English film that had a strong message of courage and heart. It captivated the Japanese culture because of Chihiro’s ambition to help and save whoever she could. Although she really wanted to save her parents, she took the time to think about the one person who helped her in the spirit world and didn’t think twice when offering fruit to Haku, when she needed it for her parents. This pointed out selflessness and compassion and also urged viewers to care about one another. Eventually, this left Chihiro to come across tasks where she was tested to make the right decision based off of her own gut instinct. Through the trust and bind she had with her morals, she was able to overcome the evilness of the spirit world and return to the human world. She taught viewers the motto: “Do onto others, that you would like others to do to you.” Reason being is that she chose to help out Haku without even knowing that he saved her life (in the form of the river spirit,) before.
Spirited Away lacked support in moral values because when I attempted to understand the messages the film displayed, I felt that it had a very strong beginning of a lesson that lacked explanation. For example, Chihiro’s (Sen) parents are lured into a delicious meal where there is no one to tell them that they can’t eat it. Despite’s Chihiro’s warning, the parents indulge in the food and they greed ends up turning them into pigs. Chihiro’s whole mission of the movie was to save her parents but this takes away from the moral message of “don’t bite more than you can chew,” or “greed equals envy.” It does thing because Chihiro ends up saving her parents and the parents never learn the turmoils of greed. If the