Vladimir Propp's and Tzvetan Todorov’s Narrative Theory
Vladimir ProppApart from having a vampires name, he also cameup with a theory that in every narrative there arealways certain people that play certain roles. I amgoing to use the example of the film “TheIncredibles” to prove his theory is correct.
Hero“The hero leads the narrative and is usuallylooking for something (a quest) or trying tosolve something (a mystery). The hero does nothave to be male.”The main hero in The Incredibles is Mr.Incredible, or Bob Parr. He is looking to put hispowers to good use and to help the public soevery Wednesday night he says to his familythat he going bowling but he is in reality goingout with his best friend – Frozone – to fightcrime.In this case the main hero is male.
Villain“Conflicts with the hero.”In the film, Syndrome is the villain and he doesindeed conflict with Mr. Incredible. Syndromehas been inventing robots called “omnidroids”to kill off all of the real super heroes so that hecan pretend to be one by using variousinventions. Mr. Incredible sets out to stop himkilling any more super heroes and stop himpretending to be a hero.
Heroine“The heroine us usually some sort of prize for the hero.Eg. If your hero is female, your heroine could be a male.The heroine in The Incredibles is mostly two things.Money and glory, and then as the story develops theheroine becomes the public. At first when Mirage offersBob the job of destroying the omnidroid she tells him hecan earn triple his salary and he can relive “the glorydays”, which were when he didnt have to hide hispowers.
Father“An authority figure who offers a reward to the hero forcompleting their quest. That might be a princess”.As I mentioned before, Mirage offers Bob a large pay increaseand a change to re-live the glory days.
Helper“Helps the hero, often acts as a sidekick”.In The Incredibles there are a large amount of helpers. There isDash, Violet, Helen and Frozone who all help Mr. Incredible inthe final fight against Syndrome and the Omnidroid. Frozone isBobs main sidekick. There is also Edna Mode, who makes abetter super suit for Bob than he had before. There are alsomore but there are too many to list.
Donor“Gives the hero something-a cluewhich helps them complete theirquest”.The first omnidroid that Bob defeatscould be thought of as adonor, because as he defeats it, herealizes that the only this that candestroy these omnidroids arethemselves.Also Syndromes computer is a donorbecause without it Bob wouldnthave know that Syndrome waskilling all of the real super heroes.
Mentor“Teacher and guides the hero.”In the film, there isnt anybody shownto have taught Bob, apart fromperhaps Edna who gives Bob a massiveand dramatic lecture on how he shouldnever have a cape as part of his supersuit.Bob acts as a mentor to his twochildren, Violet and Dash. This isshown when Dash says to hisMum, Helen, how his Dad said thattheir powers were nothing to beashamed of, how they should be proudof them.
Todorov’s TheoryTodorov proposed that all narratives (whether that be plays, book, files ect) contain these five fundamental stages in this order:1. A state of equilibrium (all is as it should be).2. A disruption of that order by an event.3. A recognition that the disorder has occurred.4. An attempt to repair the damage of the disruption.5. A return or restoration of a NEW equilibrium (it does not have to be the same old system).
This theory can be applied to any mainstream movie such as made by Jack Jack!
State Of EquilibriumIn the start of the movie, Mr. Incredible is a big- time superhero, loved by everyone. He is about to get married to ElastaGirl and he is happy with her. The world is safe.
A Disruption By An EventOne the day of Mr. Incredible’s marriage he saved a man from committing suicide. Later on he is SUED by this man as saying he sustained injuries by his saving and also did not want to be saved. This started people suing heroes all around the world and they were forced to quit and act like normal civilians for the rest of their lives.
A Recognition Of DisorderOne day when Bob (Mr. Incredible)is working in his boring office job, he get a phone call from his wife, ElastaGirl, saying that they have finally move in. this is a slightly symbolic and verbal code saying they must now recognise their place in life. The Last Box
An Attempt To Repair The DamageWhen he is offered the chance of another job, he accepts eagerly, ‘To get back to the glory days’. To repair the damage done to the equilibrium.
A NEW EquilibriumIn the end after having to save the entire world, to civilians are grateful and happy with them and heroes are now accepted back within the economy; still acting with a secret identity.
Conclusion Overall as you can see all of Todorov’s points are proved within ‘The Incredibles’, as is the case with MANY, MANY more films such as ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Shrek’, ‘Cars’, ‘Toy Story’, ‘Toy Story 2’, ‘Toy Story3’, ‘Monster’s Inc.’, ‘Kung Fu Panda’, ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, ‘Madagascar’, ‘Madagascar 2’, ‘Bee Movie’, ‘How To Train Your Dragon’, ‘Wall- E’, ‘Mega-Mind 3D’, ‘Monsters VS Aliens’, ect…Todorov by Sathyam Sharma