Sunday, October 30, 2011

Narratives Exercises


I’ve seen this Listerine mouthwash ad on Hulu about a dozen times today. It fades in to a woman in a bathroom brushing her teeth, and the a narrator saying, “If you’re only brushing, add Listerine total care for a more complete oral care.” It doesn’t really have a set up, but the setting hints at what the commercial is about. There isn’t a narrative at all, just a bunch of claims by the narrator about strengthening enamel and fighting cavities. The woman really only appears for about three seconds before going into an animation of Listering swishing around in her mouth cleaning her teeth. After all the claims are made, we see the woman again for a brief second smiling then to a graphic of the Listerine bottle and text that says “the most complete mouthwash,” and the narrator saying the text.


I think the suspension of disbelief is much greater within animations than it is with live action. Since nothing in animations are ‘real’ the audience is more accepting of the exaggerations employed within it than they are with live forms of media. This is a great tool for narratives, since a point can get across to the viewer more quickly through the use of exaggerations in the story.

Also, there is a much less emphasis on continuity with animated shows than there is with live action shows. For example, if Bart rips his shirt in one scene and his shirt isn’t ripped in the next, the audience is okay with it.

I don’t think different styles of animation necessarily means different styles of storytelling, I think it is more the content of the shows that drives its storytelling. The Simpsons, South Park, and the Incredibles are all targeted towards different demographics, and I don’t think their forms of animation are what drives the content of their stories.

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