Comparing Characters in Mild
Horror (Eco-disaster/Adventure sub
genre)

The Day after tomorrow (2004)
Jurassic Park (1993)
Vladimir Propp
Propp believed that folk tales had a number of stock characters;
• The Hero – a character that seeks someth...
The Hero
Sam Hall (The Day After
Tomorrow)
• This character fits all of the
traditional ‘Hero’ stereotypes –
he is young, ...
The Villain
Nature or Mankind? (The Day
After Tomorrow)
•

There is no physical villain in this film, as it
is an eco-disa...
The Dispatcher
Professor Jack Hall (The Day
After Tomorrow)
•

Jack is Sam Hall (our hero)’s father, and it
is him who inf...
The False Hero
Unnamed Survivor (The Day
After Tomorrow)
•

This unnamed man is one of the survivors
from the library who ...
The Helper
Jason Evans, Frank Harris and Brian
Parks (The Day After Tomorrow)

Lex and Tim Murphy (Jurassic
Park)

• All t...
The Princess
Laura Chapman (The Day After
Tomorrow)
• Laura is the Hero (Sam)’s love
interest throughout the film, and
the...
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Comparing characters in mild horror

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Comparing characters in mild horror

  1. 1. Comparing Characters in Mild Horror (Eco-disaster/Adventure sub genre) The Day after tomorrow (2004) Jurassic Park (1993)
  2. 2. Vladimir Propp Propp believed that folk tales had a number of stock characters; • The Hero – a character that seeks something • The Villain – who opposes or actively blocks the hero’s quest • The Donor – who provides an object with magical properties • The Dispatcher – who sends the hero on his/her quest via a message • The False Hero – who disrupts the hero’s success by making false claims • The Helper – who aids the hero • The Princess – acts as the reward for the hero and the object of the villain’s plots • Her Father – who acts to reward the hero for his effort These characters can be applied to many modern films, although the personality traits and roles of the characters can vary.
  3. 3. The Hero Sam Hall (The Day After Tomorrow) • This character fits all of the traditional ‘Hero’ stereotypes – he is young, attractive and smart. He has a number of ‘sidekicks’ and succeeds at the end of the film, including winning the affections of the ‘princess’ figure. Dr Alan Grant (Jurassic Park) • Dr Grant is slightly older than one might expect, however aside from this, he fits all of the traditional ‘Hero’ conventions – He is brave, strong and kind. Saying this, Dr Grant is somewhat a reluctant Hero in that at the beginning of the film he despises children, and does not want to get involved in the drama and danger of the plot.
  4. 4. The Villain Nature or Mankind? (The Day After Tomorrow) • There is no physical villain in this film, as it is an eco-disaster that provides the terror, through a monster storm and ice-age throughout the northern hemisphere. However, the question is raised by the film of whether mankind has caused this disaster because of global warming. This goes against Propp’s theory of having a physical villain. • The Day After Tomorrow - New York Tsunami - YouTube Dinosaurs? Dr. Malcolm? (Jurassic Park) • It is Dr. Malcolm that has recreated the dinosaurs, and that eventually refuses to destroy them, and so once the dinosaurs do become deadly, he becomes the villain figure. Dr Malcolm fits with many villain stereotypes, wearing dark clothes and ranting about things he disagrees with. He also in fits in with the stock horror character of the Mad Scientist. However, it is the dinosaurs that are actually the danger, so are they the real villains in the film? • Jurassic Park (9/10) Movie CLIP Raptors in the Kitchen (1993) HD – YouTube
  5. 5. The Dispatcher Professor Jack Hall (The Day After Tomorrow) • Jack is Sam Hall (our hero)’s father, and it is him who informs Sam of the impending storm, as he witnesses its beginnings whilst doing research in the north pole. He is a reliable source due to his ‘Professor’ status, and so is a fitting Dispatcher of information who sends our hero on his quest. This fits with Propp’s theory as this dispatcher instructs, informs and helps the hero in the film. John Hammond (Jurassic Park) • John Hammond is a dispatcher of sorts in the film, however he does not fit with Propp’s original theory, as it is not he who tells the Hero what to do, but rather he aids the hero from behind the scenes, as he is to frail to help physically. He feeds the Hero information and keeps the two groups of tourists informed of each others wearabouts.
  6. 6. The False Hero Unnamed Survivor (The Day After Tomorrow) • This unnamed man is one of the survivors from the library who convinces many other to leave the library with him, despite being advised otherwise by Sam and his friends. To the other survivors, this man seems a hero at first for providing a solution, however it is later revealed that his was a bad decision as the group that leave the library are found, having frozen to death. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park) • Dr. Ian Malcolm turns out to be the false hero, as at the beginning of the film (when the dinosaurs are still under control) he seems a hero from bringing them back to life and creating the wonderful theme park ‘Jurassic Park’. However, when the Dinosaurs break free and he refuses to destroy them he is revealed to be villainous. It is clear to the audience by the end of the film that he is not acting maliciously, but rather out of fear.
  7. 7. The Helper Jason Evans, Frank Harris and Brian Parks (The Day After Tomorrow) Lex and Tim Murphy (Jurassic Park) • All three of these people aid the Hero or the dispatcher at some point throughout the film, and Frank Harris even sacrifices his life so that the others can carry on in their quest. • These two children aid the hero throughout the film, and help to defeat the dinosaurs. They are very brave for their age and fit with Propp’s theory of the hero having a helper or multiple helpers.
  8. 8. The Princess Laura Chapman (The Day After Tomorrow) • Laura is the Hero (Sam)’s love interest throughout the film, and they end up as a romantic couple at the end. Many of the adventure’s Sam goes on are to help or save Laura, most noticeably him going out into the cold to find medicine for her blood poisoning. Dr. Ellie Satler (Jurassic Park) • Dr. Ellie is Dr. Alan’s assistant and love interest. Although the pair are separated for the majority of the film, she aids the Hero by switching of the electrics to a fence he is trapped behind.

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