Hierarchy in Animated Films


In class we talked a bit about hierarchy, which is a system of people or things ranked with value above or below one another. Since this disscussion I have looked at films that display this and one such film is “The road to El’dorado” an animated picture produced by DreamWorks. In the movie two con artist Tulio and Miguel win a map in a game of dice, soon after it is found that they cheated and a chase ensues. This chase causes them to stowaway on a ship and are later found halfway through the journey where the escape on a small row boat with a horse. The group ends up on a strange island and realize the map is describing the very place they landed. Following the landmarks they come to a totem with guards from the lost city of gold, these guards see them riding the horse and believe them to be the gods pictured on their sacred totem. Once in the city word has spread of there status and everyone caters to them believing that they are above them in the scale of hierarchy. Even though Tulio and Miguel are just normally people and there is nothing that makes them gods the city believes in the system that of hierarchy that the two are treated as such. Many animated films have the same element of hierarchy in it, such as “the emperors new groove” in that the main character was once on top but because of a poison is transformed into a lama and thus falls down the ladder and is treated with no respect based on his low status. He is still the same person but because he does not look like it, no one believes that he is the rightful ruler of the kingdom like he once was. But because of hierarchy no person would let someone of such low standing rule even though they might posses the potential to do a great job. Even today society is divided by the poverty stricken low class, the well-off middle class, and wealthy high class. Even though every person does not possess the ability to be a leader, they should not be denied the chance to try based on their social standing. The wealthy look down on the poor as the poor look up at what is seen to be the acceptable social standard. This might change one day but for now it is how it seems.Image


One thought on “Hierarchy in Animated Films

  1. Looking at hierarchies in animated films is a good topic–but what are the hierarchies related to? What aspects of diversity are reflected in who is on top vs. the bottom and in what ways does it relate to current society?

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