The postmodernism impact brings more possibility
It could be suggested that everything is influenced each other. People’s ideology would be inspired by their life experience or other things which have influenced them. As Mark Twain said ” …all ideas are second hand.”, every creation is usually affected by other sources. With the trend of postmodernism and globalization, the combination of different cultures to come up with new ideas has become very common. Additionally, as technological developments, it is easier to get a variety of information from foreign countries through the Internet and television without any physical distances. Therefore, our new generations frequently have the influence of foreign culture through TV programs and films from a young age. However, some arguments claim that this global phenomenon would cause different cultures homogenize, the individualities of cogitation from young generation have turned into one singular thought in younger people’s full of ideas. Moreover, some famous foreign films and television programs from western might influence children’s value deviation, which presents them with a particular impression of the white privilege, and the gender of stereotype.
There is some specific explanation indicating that the impact of increasing globalization can encourage people to think differently. Moreover, Disney’s impact on children could be express more aspects of the characteristic with multi culture to make children have more points of view on life on being themselves. This paper will describe how animation has been influenced by postmodernism and become more diverse, it will also reveal the evolution of Disney’s storytelling. The paper will analyse some of Disney’s films as an example, from early time to recent work, which represents postmodernism and how it has been affected by other cultures.
According to the commentary from Hurley (2005), the Disney Princess Franchise, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), it is generally recognized that the features of those main characters are all the same they have an oval face, slender body, long hair, white skin, they living in a castle, saved by a prince or a wealthy man, get married and live happily ever after at the end of the story. The impact on children apparently provides the gender impression of female character should be weak, gentle and soften that easy to be afraid. On the other hand, the male character must be tough, strong and powerful, and it is enough brave to face the challenge. Therefore, the gender roles in children’s mind have identified by these features since a young age. ( Hurley, 2005, p221-p232)
There are the perspectives to demonstrate sharing information globally could lead to numerous possibility aspects, and exclude the distance to enrich our knowledge. Furthermore, with the trend of postmodernism, it is considered that Disney’s animated films would be suitable for children to learn to know the differences of cultural value and establish their self-identity from a young age. Here is the description about the status of background stories and animation technique before postmodernism, and then become cultural diverse with postmodernism in animated films. From the history of animation by Wright (2005), animation industry has appeared over eighty years. During 1910~1930, before it wasn’t affected by postmodernism, the production of animation usually was made cartoons in short film. The background stories were from comics with daily newspaper, which with some simple jokes, were easy to understand and funny but did not have much meaning inside. Some studios were cooperated with the publisher that release the cartoons and comics at the same period to promote newspaper sales. ( Wright ,2005 , p14)
During the period from 1930 ~1940, Disney had reached a great success on animated cartoons that combine with abundant background stories to attract the attention from adults and children. In 1938, Disney released the first animated full- length film “ Snow White and Seven Dwarfs”, which was very popular. Since then, Disney started on the way of producing many of well-known films on history. “ These films have been popular because they have great stories with lovable characters.” (Wright 2005), revealed the reason that Disney can become best known in the world. Based on the description, the conception of postmodernism was not affect on animation in that time. The source of ideas and creative were from European fairy tale and Fable. In addition, the technique of animation was in two dimensions that most objects must be made with hand drawing on paper. Wells(1998) describes “To make sure that every part can be animated in films, Disney had developed “the pencil test” which can photographing a pencil drawn sequence to check its quality of movement and authenticity before it processed to be drawn on cels, painted.” (Paul Wells, 1998,p23), indicate that the whole process of animation requires an amount of time and patient, especially on producing a full-length film. In 1970, the term of postmodernism had come up, the impact was affecting on animation field. Lyotard said, “ It appears in retrogressive art forms, thrives on irony and parody, and realizes itself in the practice of extreme self-reflexivity.” (Jean Francois Lyotard, 2004,p70), provide another definition of postmodern, which influenced animation field on storytelling. During this period, the audience had not fascinated with fairy tale story anymore and was expected to see the numerous creations of Disney’s animated films.
In order to the market requirement, animators were searching for other inspiration for other background stories and tried to detach from the existing plot pattern. Therefore, the existing format of storytelling had begun to change. Meanwhile, the development of technology had changed the life style that makes convenient on working. In the production of animation, some part of work can do with computer or machines instead of manual work to save more time. Moreover, with the help of technology, the quality of animated film could demonstrate image more exquisite. From the background stories of Disney’s films, there is a tendency to combine with multicultural on the storytelling and change the aspect of character design. It is generally recognized that they have different nationalities and cultural background. For example, Mulan(1998), The Princess and The Frog(2009), Tangled (2010), Frozen(2013), Zootopia (2016) and Moana (2016). Those female characters are express women can also be tough, strong, powerful and full of ambitions, to demonstrate the masculine and soft personality. On the contrary, the male character can also be timid, hesitant, show his weakness part and born with the normal identity. In the new story mode, the male role could be saved by the female role from dangerous, or become a partner with her to face the challenge. Moreover, in other stories pattern, the villain role not only presents how evil he or she is but also shows the reason what makes this role intend to become evil. It could seem to realize the villain role is not the terrible person that audience imaging at the first impression. Disney’s animated films have revealed a variety of stories background combine with different cultures and close to realistic to make children have basic knowledge about different culture and learn to be themselves at a young age. Besides, the production of Disney’s animation, it is now generally recognized that the improvement on the technique of making animation is a huge evolution, from hand drawing in two dimensions in early time to made with computer in three dimensions, and animation effects in recent years. Based on the description, with the influence of postmodernism, “There is a general breakdown between high and low cultural standards and forms, and disorientation, rather than certainty, is the order of the day.”(Martin, 2013).
To make a great achievement on the ingenuity, it is necessary to look for different kinds of information. In spite of the postmodernism and globalization has impacted the whole world, some people still prefer the ordinary life style. Although they can receive a variety of news and information from many places, they decide not follow the trend and keep their original life style. Because the trend is providing more options for consumers, and they can make the choice to choose one they need. Recently, some animated films in two dimensions with traditional format are still popular in the 20th century, some people feel that two dimensions animated film has its own style that made with hand drawing, which cannot be replaced by three dimensions and animation effect. Therefore, traditional two dimensions animation has become a unique style in the animation industry.
In conclusion, it is generally agreed that the sharing information globally is appropriated by the trend of globalization and postmodernism, the impact could exclude the distance for people to know the difference between many countries, and encourage people thinking differently to search for more possibility. Nevertheless, the trends are providing more choice and opportunities for people to keep forward in this era. There is another unknown area that we need to search for and break through to expand more perspective in the future. The impact of postmodernism and globalization will still continue with the unknown fields in next century.