Text | Wang Zhongyang lp, Xiao Tong
It should be said that the excavation of various themes by Europeans and Americans (to be precise, Americans) is still relatively textured in film and television. No matter whether it is scary folk customs or ancient myths, even if it is presented in the form of cartoons, it can be used to tell quite interesting stories with the lens of "all ages".
Among them, the most widely known ones in China are Monster Hostel and How to Train Your Dragon. The former brings together all kinds of "black myth bosses" from Western Europe to Slavic and Egyptian, while the latter sublimates tenderness in the rough and heroic Nordic Viking.
These days, the Christmas atmosphere has gradually become rich. Although I don’t know what new animation surprises there are this Christmas, I can at least recommend a wonderful masterpiece about whether Santa Claus is a pyramid scheme or a leek man under KPI three years ago-Klaus: The Secret of Christmas.
This cartoon is "wonderful" because on the one hand, you have to marvel at the deep imagination of foreigners after watching it, and it can give a "simple New Year mascot" a brand-new soul and story; On the other hand, after watching for a long time lost in thought:
Imagination can really change the world.
Selflessness and encouragement make you happy.
First of all, if I say that Santa Claus gives gifts to children every year, it is actually just a "pyramid scheme" set up by a "rich second generation" postman for KPI, it is estimated that many people will say "this is too outrageous", but in Klaus: The Secret of Christmas, it tells the audience a unique version:
Jasper, a rich second generation, was originally ignorant, idled all day and lived a luxurious life. His father paid him to send him to the Royal Postal College to train the postman and turned out to be the worst student in the hospital. So his father told him to go to Smith Rensburg (a very remote island) as a postman, and he had to send 6,000 letters a year to come back, otherwise he would not be able to get the inheritance right. However, when I got to the local area, Jasper discovered that this island was like hell-
People here are divided into two factions, one is the krum family, and the other is the Elimbo family. Due to historical reasons, they are full of hatred for each other and fight whenever they meet. From adults to children, they are organized, disciplined and have family traditions, and no one can shake them.
By setting traps, stabbing and plotting against each other, and the human feelings here are indifferent, there is no communication between them, only fighting, not to mention writing letters, which is so literary and warm. None of the previous postmen can survive in such an inhuman environment. At first, he was full of confidence, but he was repeatedly frustrated.
Just as Jasper was about to give up his job as a postman, he found Klaus, a mysterious old man who lived on the top of the island. Klaus was a carpenter.
The whole person looks "weird and cruel". After his wife died, he lived alone in a hut full of handmade toys. The two teamed up to give toys to the children on the island, provided that the children wrote to Klaus to express their wishes.
Since then, the secret of "You can get a gift as long as Jasper helps you mail a letter" has spread among the children … So, this incredible friendship has brought the island back to life, and the indifference and estrangement between people has been broken. Jasper also officially started the endeavor journey of hitting KPI with Klaus’ gift and returning to the peak of constantly chauffeured as soon as possible.
Later, there were more and more rumors about Klaus:
"Klaus will leave gifts in socks hanging on the fireplace!" "Klaus likes cookies!" "Klaus will come in through the chimney!" "Klaus flew over the roofs of thousands of families in the moonlight in a sleigh pulled by reindeer!" ……
The picture extends out of the camera, and a gentle and beautiful story comes to an end.
I am convinced that westerners engage in the theme of "redemption", even in cartoons. Klaus: The Secret of Christmas mainly has two aspects of "redemption", one is the hero’s soul redemption in doing a good job, and the other is the local people’s reflection and redemption in silent resolution.
As for the sublimation level of the theme, it is even more "universal". In friendship, love and affection, it promotes the spirit of "giving a rose, leaving a lingering fragrance in your hand"-
] a true act of good will always sparks another’s most selfless dedication is the most inspiring.
Refinement and sublimation are warm enough.
Klaus: The Secret of Christmas is such a family fun "warm cookies". The beauty of the film is that in the first half of the film, a particularly sad and chilling island is created by means of horror and suspense, and it is perfectly changed by inspiration and redemption in the feelings of "the more depraved it is, the more it is worth saving" in European and American cultures.
In addition, the relationship between the two factions on the island seems to be more worthy of the audience’s deep thinking-
Feud, hostility, refusal to communicate.
I firmly believe that this relationship is a kind of national contradiction and racial conflict that the creator deliberately implies and can map the real world, such as wars and prejudices around the world and hatred that seems to never coexist.
But on the island in the story, it doesn’t seem so "serious". At most, only the children can’t go to school, or are under house arrest or lack of care. Until the arrival of the protagonist Jasper changed all this. With the spread of love and care, the whole village has also undergone great changes … All people are inspired to practice the concept of "the most selfless dedication, the most inspiring" and bring happiness to others:
Because of Jasper’s dedication, Alva finally realized his dream of starting a school;
Because of Alva’s dedication, local children have the opportunity to read and read;
Because of Klaus’ dedication, children’s childhood has expectations and more joy;
It is also because of the dedication of the children that the adults began to become friendly, and then the residents of the whole island began to give up the struggle and live in harmony, making the indifference between people a thing of the past forever.
In the process of this happiness transmission, everyone is gradually changing in a good direction. As for the "reverse force", the most obvious thing is Jasper himself-
From a selfish and unmotivated constantly chauffeured man at the beginning, he has gradually become a caring and responsible person who makes his father proud.
Speaking of which, I don’t know if anyone has found one thing. In the seemingly mythical "Origin" story, there is actually no magic, elves and luxurious palaces throughout, but only ordinary people just like you and me.
The most obvious thing is that the well-known "The Birth of Santa Claus" is based on the secular feelings carefully arranged by the creator. Therefore, this animation not only got a high score of 8.3 on IMDb, but also got 7 nominations for the Annie Award, which is known as the animation Oscar.
Intention and logic are innovation.
The whole film is highly completed, well-made, and the story is warm, simple and pure. There is no metaphor for eggs or anything to pay tribute to. You may guess the ending and the fate of the characters, but there is nothing new in the story.
Lovely painting style, plain healing story, rich characters and their own characteristics. Meet the yearning of some audiences with girlish hearts for fairy tales. Realistic fairy tales are created by kind people, not illusory "magic".
At this point, my thoughts return to the comparison between "theme" and "material" at the beginning of this article. I am glad to find that we are not bad. At least so far, we have begun to explore the doorway and have some good signs for the refinement and sublimation of the theme.
Monkey King Reborn, another domestic animation I revisited a few days ago, saw another side of it while netizens commented on "excessive consumption":
The mythical characters are humanized, the animation style is vivid, the creative thinking is open and the theme is sublimated. Although the fourth "sublimation" has also been shown in some domestic animations in the past, such as "My life is not determined by the sky" in "The Magic Boy" and "Modern Human Context" in "Steampunk" in "The Legend of the White Snake 2", these are worthy of study and discussion by people in the industry. At least the domestic animation creators are aware of one thing:
If you don’t fool the audience, you must take the initiative to "evolve".
Especially in today’s increasingly integrated Eastern and Western cultures, if we want to carry forward the national culture and get real praise and recognition, we must learn to dig deep into some contents outside the original theme, or the common feelings of human beings or the feelings that are connected with each other.
As for the audience’s world, it is not so complicated. At least tell a vivid story about the origin of Santa Claus "Claudie", so that people who grow up are still full of childlike innocence; It is not a difficult thing to fully display the beautiful elements such as friendship, faith, companionship, growth and love.
Thanks to this movie, Christmas and Santa Claus have been given a better meaning.
I still want to thank this movie, which may make more people think about an already existing fact:
Imagination can really change the world.