The world of Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm Brothers, full of fantasy, fairies and magical elves, was introduced as part of stories which are narrated to little children. Later, these stories were adapted into films, cartoons and television shows, and the animation genre is gaining more traction than ever. One might ask, why is this so?
The basic idea behind the visual depiction of these fantasy worlds is to provide a respite from the real world. It serves as a stark antithesis to the human world which is full of misery, with ideas of pain, suffering, mortality and the deadly unchanging routine of adult life– the fantasy world which promises adventure, is an escape. Wizards and fairies with magical powers and capabilities pale the limited powers of man, Herbs, potions and wishes which could help one fool Death forever relieve us of the looming shadow of our mortality as well as that of our loved ones. Even though we probably realise that such a thing is impossible in light of the human existence, it does not cease our admiration for these stories.
Now, with even animated movies coming into picture, people, whether children or adults are all very fascinated with them. Why do people go and watch a movie in the cinema? Why don’t they just sit and home and watch the same thing? It is only because the improved sound quality and the amazing picture quality renders the experience all the more great and wonderful. The sort of escape that people desire from their monotonous lives is highlighted by such powerful effects. Sitting at home and watching a movie will definitely leave an effect, but that effect will only be short-term. But when that same person watches the same movie in a cinema hall, the experience is entirely different and the effect all the more prolonged.
However, one may argue why in the 21st century such a need arises to inculcate a form that has been in existence for a long time now. To such a thought, one can argue about the life today, that has become fast-paced more than ever. Today, people in every part of the world are living hectic lives wherein they are either constantly being pressurized to think about ‘serious’ issues, career prospects or are constantly burdened with a lot of work pressure. The world is becoming very competitive and thoughts about fantasy might seem very stupid. However, it is this stupidity and a little dose of the ‘non-serious’ that is required in our lives. It is always these absurd things which act as a stress buster to the ever increasing stress. Dancing, painting, singing, listening to music –all of them have been used as a stress buster for times immemorial. The world of fantasy should also be included into that category, which will not only help people to reduce their stress, but will eventually help them in the long run to achieve their goals and become successful.
Therefore, it becomes important not to discard or discredit such a thought, but to rather accept it as the need of the hour. Adults are going to watch animated movies with their children to get a wholesome and an entirely different experience altogether. Movies like Frozen, Tangled, and The Good Dinosaur are becoming extremely popular among people across all genders and people across all ages. People have always come out of the movie halls claiming that such movies are necessary. Although it is important to ground yourself in reality, it is equally important to escape from the reality from time to time. Therefore, one shouldn’t hesitate in promoting such worlds of fantasy if he/she finds the need to do so. However, this should never be done at the expense of compromising reality. A balance is what is needed so that life becomes all the more survivable.
Picture Courtesy- Aulani