Propp's theory

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  • 1. Propp’s theory Jake Godward
  • 2. The theoristVladimir Propp suggested that the characters of a film took on the role of narrative 'spheres of action' or functions. He came up with seven different character types
  • 3. "the agent who restores the narrative equilibrium often by embarking on a 'quest'- the central character." I would apply this character role toWoody, the cowboy. He is the one who sets up his own quest to get Buzz back and the rest of the characters turn their backs on him for doing so.
  • 4. "usually creates the narrative disruption."The character that creates the disruption is Buzz, but he's not really a villain- he's only bad inWoody's eyes. Later on in the film, Sid, the evil kid next door is a sort of villain. He threatens to blow Buzz Lightyear up with a rocket.
  • 5. "gives the hero something. It may be an object, information or advice, which helps in resolution of the narrative." I wouldn't say there's a clear donor in the film, the main characters more set aside their differences to help resolve the narrative.
  • 6. "aids the hero in the task of restoring equilibrium." Again I wouldn't say there's a clear character fulfilling this role in the film.
  • 7. "is usually the character most threatened by the villain and has to be saved, at the climax, by the hero.The father's (who in fairy tales was often the king) role is usually to give the princess away to the hero at the narrative's conclusion. He may also dispatch the hero." This is completely irrelevant to the characters and the narrative inToy Story, there is no princess needing to be saved, and no father character. Granted, Woody's "quest" to rescue Buzz somewhat resembles this, but bears little resemblance to the theory. He’s also male.
  • 8. "sends the hero on his or her task (who can typically be the princess' father) as mentioned above, there is no Father character; and Woody more or less sends himself on the quest.
  • 9. "appears to be good but is revealed, at the narrative's end, to have been bad." No character fulfills this role inToy Story, there are no characters who you think are good but turn out to be bad.