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Concentration Essays

Essay and Film Critique


     My motivation for getting into the animation profession is to be part of the creation of something that resonates with the audience for years to come and even pass it on to others. When growing up and watching cartoons, I, like many kids, see the characters almost as real beings and always feel great joy watching them on the screen. When realizing that I too could make such entertaining characters of my own move around and do their antics, I knew that I wanted to create for an audience and give them the same sense of joy that animation gives me.

     Animation also gives people a sense of wonder where people are amazed at the techniques utilized to pull off such a creation. The greatest reward when putting my heart and soul into my own art is seeing people receive it positively and sometimes even awed and inspired by it. That is what then motivates me to make more works that are much better than the last. With building up a skill to animate of my own, I aim to be able to make a living doing what I love to do. By doing either freelance or contract work for a company, I would be excited to send my part of a project down the pipeline to completion and give the world joy through art.

Film Critique

     Kung Fu Panda 2 was a film that displayed faithful cultural depictions and an intriguing story that was enhanced with its techniques of color, lighting, and emotional tones.

     Chinese cultural depictions are seen everywhere in the film from the architecture down to the characters and kung Fu. Kung fu is a major part of the Kung Fu Panda films, the fighting styles that the characters have each have their own unique quirk in relation to real kung fu forms. In the films, there is Po, the main character who is a panda, and the Furious Five, who are made up of a tiger, monkey, viper, crane, and mantis. In real Chinese kung fu, there exist different fighting techniques such as tiger style, monkey style, and so on. Though the movie may not accurately show the technique, each animal character fights in a way that makes sense with their body type such as when Lord Shen uses his fanned-out tail feathers to distract and disorient an opponent. Another example of Chinese culture is seen in the opening with the backstory of the villain, Lord Shen, that is told through shadow puppetry, which is a traditional Chinese theatre way of storytelling. Having the stylistic approach to what happened before the events in the main story takes off gives the intro an effective sense of it being a different time.

     The film tended to use a lot of red in association with the villain that helped him stand out from his surroundings. From backgrounds, lighting, and even prop elements such as the firework cannonballs and boats at the end of the movie, the red color always would make an appearance where Shen would be. With how harsh the reds can be, the director made it so Shen would stand out by having him be a white peacock. Both peacocks and the white tone are usually associated with positive elements such as peace, purity, and fortune. By making it so the villain was a white peacock, he stood out as a character that represented the direct opposite of what he appeared to be.

     With emotional scenes in the film, on top of the music used, the editing with the flashback segments when Po found inner peace in the truth of where he came from drove the mood. There was a great contrast when comparing where he stood in the present versus the flashbacks he kept experiencing. The present was set in a dark, gloomy, abandoned village, while the past started bright and green, then suddenly turned dark and red to portray the tragedy that befell his people.

     The film, Kung Fu Panda 2, effectively conveyed to the audience the tone of the story and displayed a faithfulness to Chinese culture. These points make it an animated film that is recognizable for the sheer amount of work put into it for the people to enjoy.

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