Essay Example on Whilst researching anthropomorphism I've uncovered a few interesting Questions









In this penultimate chapter I ll be discussing the points I've raised during my critical reflections on my case studies The Jungle Book Brother Bear and Winnie the Pooh Whilst researching anthropomorphism I've uncovered a few interesting questions I want to discuss Firstly I want to raise the question why are bears so often used in animated movies This question does not have a simple answer however I believe there are many different reasons as to why we do this The sheer number of animated movies that include an anthropomorphised bear make it difficult to depict one solid answer animated features have always incorporated anthropomorphic characters from as early as Gertie the Dinosaur 1914 through today s computer animated features such as Madagascar 2005 Atkinson 2018 Anthropomorphic animals in animated movies has been popular for over a century since the early years of cinema I believe the main reason behind the use of anthropomorphic bears is due to the creative decision to enhance their main features such as eyes and mouth The unrealistic nature of the eyes and mouth make it easier to portray human emotion onto these anthropomorphised animals which in turn makes them more relatable to the target audience and increases their likeability which links to previous points I've discussed such as the success of Winnie the Pooh 

The franchise is worth almost 4 billion showing the huge impact it had on multiple generations Another reason we anthropomorphism bears in movies is due to the creative limitations posed by working with real animals Real animals are difficult to train and it's often harder to convey feelings and emotions onto real world creatures as they lack human features Anthropomorphising animals allows the creative team to give these wild animals human characteristics helping to make them relatable Using animated animals poses less ethical issues than if creators were to use their real life counterparts Using real animals for entertainment purposes is becoming less common and less accepted For example in The Jungle Book the Disney Studio would have had to train a bear to dance on command I believe this sort of behaviour is something that wouldn t resonate well with the audience therefore using anthropomorphised bears reduces any limitations ethical issues and fears that might come with using real bears Another question I d like to consider is the psychological reasons behind why we anthropomorphised animals The following quote serves as an introduction to this question the Judeo Christian tradition that humans were the pinnacle of creation also encountered claims that humans being endowed by God with reason and immortal souls were superior and qualitatively different from animals Daston Mitman 2007 4

This implies we re superior to all other species and links to a previously discussed topic where I talk about how we use animals for work food and clothing I discuss how both The Jungle Book and Brother Bear portray a world in which humans being are superior to other species which could explain why we project our own emotions onto these animals In Brother Bear Kenai goes on a spiritual journey which alters his perspective on bears as a species In this specific case I believe the anthropomorphised character of Kenai serves to remind the audience that we should be mindful and caring towards others A psychological study that aimed to teach chimps sign language by Gardner and Gardner 1969 demonstrates that chimpanzees do have the capability to use human language This is a real world example of how humans are trying to convey our own behaviours onto other animals This links to how we anthropomorphism bears in these three case studies in order to project human behaviour knowledge and shortcomings onto these characters By giving bears human characteristics it enables us to portray human issues in an easier to understand manner that is accessible to all demographics Lastly I want to further examine the impacts that anthropomorphic bears have on young children In the three examples we've looked at all the anthropomorphised bears are unrealistic interpretations of their real life equivalent some more so than others

This unrealistic portrayal can dramatically impact children's perception of these bears which could desensitise them from the real world dangers bears pose This desensitisation goes against natural human instinct supported by the following quote There was a time in our evolutionary history when animals and insects were daily enemies and for young children fear of raw animal potency is apparent in dreams Mallon 2002 68 Today most young children have a stuffed toy or teddy bear to which they are attached to Most films that include anthropomorphised bears and animals are likely to be aimed at children as they re able to relate to these characters due to their own experiences with children s animal toys Being able to associate with these characters allows children to feel comfort and enjoyment when viewing these films This shows the positive impacts animated movies can have on young children while subtly introducing them to deeper moral topics such as learning to deal with loss as shown in Brother Bear Kenai losing his brother Another positive impact of anthropomorphising animals means we're able to introduce a wide variety of animals to young children in an easy to understand manner

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