Hero's Journey

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The Hero’s Journey—Kung Fu Panda
Many people believe in heroes, who are selfless and willing to sacrifice themselves to benefit others. Heroes also exist in different cultures, and they usually represent courage and adventurous. According to Joseph Campbell’s theory, heroes in stories undergo a process called “The Hero’s Journey”, which is the classic plot structure of heroic stories, in order to achieve great deeds. Kung Fu Panda, a movie by the DreamWorks, demonstrates the theory of Hero’s Journey. The movie is about fat and lazy panda calls Po, who always dreams of being a kung Fu master, is unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Po’s dream comes true when he starts to learn Kung Fu from the greatest Kung Fu master and becomes friends with his idols, the Legendary Furious Five---Tigress, Mantis, Viper, Monkey, and Crane. Finally, he protects the whole valley by defeating Tailung (the antagonist) by using what he learns and terns his dream of being a Kung Fu master into reality. This movie represents the process of the hero’s journey, by showing the separation of hero’s ordinary life, the initiation in his adventure, and his return after the deeds. In the movie, separation of the ordinary world and the extraordinary world after the hero is called to the adventure, and overcomes his struggle through being inspired by a mentor. As the movie starts, it first tells about the ordinary world of our hero, the panda. By introducing the protagonist, who is also the hero, audiences get to know the normal life of Po before his adventure: working in noodle restaurant with his dad, dreaming of becoming a kung Fu master everyday. However, Po doesn’t want his life to be like that, he still wants to learn Kung Fu. The eager of learning Kung Fu, therefore, leads him to the adventure, and take him away from his ordinary world. As Master Oogway announces his vision of Tailung’s return, it is time to call for a Dragon Warrior, who can be granted the secret power of dragon scroll to defeat Tailung. Desperate to witness the Dragon Warrior be chosen, Po accidently crashes into the middle of the arena at the moment when Oogway is to point out the Dragon Warrior. Surprisingly, Po becomes the chosen one, and he is called and summoned to the adventure. At this moment Po is facing the challenge of entering the extraordinary world, and he is preparing for it as well. However, the decision of Oogway angers Master Shifu, and the furious five; they make fun of Po and dislike him. Master Shifu even describes him as “fat and flabby”. He not only dissatisfies Shifu and the furious five, he also failed in all his training. Po loses his confidence and begins refusing the call to adventure: maybe I should just quit and go back to making noodles”, says Po. Po is now frustrated and he rethinks he decision of being the Dragon Warrior. When Po is losing his mind and about to give up on Kung Fu, he meets the mentor who encourages him and helps him to gain back confidence. Po encounters Master Oogway at the peach tree of wisdom, Oogway tells him that he understands Po’s feeling and he knows that Po is upset. He encourages Po by telling him an old saying: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, and today is a gift.” Thus, Po is inspired by Master Oogway, and he finally makes up his mind of being consist to his decision. Lastly, our hero crosses the threshold and steps in the world of extraordinary. Po starts to make efforts; he trains himself by waking up early and stretch on his own. He also claims that the real dragon warrior never quit. Therefore, he now has taken his very first step towards the adventure and has accomplished the separation of ordinary and extraordinary world; next, he is going to reach the beginning of his adventure. Moreover, after leaving the ordinary world, initiation begins. On the way to adventure, Po meets some people; they may be his allies, friends, or they may possibly be his enemies. Hence, the first thing to do...
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