Title: Character Archetypes and how They Have Influenced the Female Stereotypes of Animation
Research Question: How are more female characters in modern animation breaking with the original archetypes set out in the writers Journey and what effect is this having on the character stereotypes usually seen in animation?
Within this article I would like to examine the character archetypes set out in ‘The Writers Journey’ and how these archetypes have been used through out animation. I would like to write about why stereotyping has become a huge problem with these character archetypes. I would also like to look at how in Animations made in the last decade these ideas are changing and some of the stereotypes previously associated with some character archetypes are now being broken.
In this article I would like to look at the idea of the Female Heroine and how certain stereotypes have become associated with this type of character. There are certain ‘thoughts’ that come to mind when creating a Heroine. If she relies on strength in battle her appearance can often become Amazonian featuring more prominent muscles and stature, but loses some of her femininity. On the other side of this stereotyping of a Heroine if she retains a more delicate appearance she tends to have some skill or ‘power’ which helps her overcome any obstacles opposing her in her quest but this type of character would also lose her independence and often be paired with a male partner who would take on a ‘Warrior’ role. In more modern animation they have begun creating a better balance between these features so that female characters become stronger more independent while breaking with the stereotypes and creating more realistic Heroines which an audience can relate to.
The two main Heroines I would like to look at in this article are ‘Eep’ from ‘The Croods’ and ‘Merida’ from ‘Brave’. This is because they both exemplify and reject the characteristics of the ‘Heroine Stereotype’ I outlined earlier. Eep takes on some of the ‘Amazonian’ characteristics in that she is muscular and uses her strength to acquire what she wants but she is in many ways an incredibly feminine character who displays a sweetness and tendency towards emotional vulnerability when it comes to her love interest. Merida however while being the more delicate in appearance of these two characters and taking on the stereotype of having a skill rather than brute strength is considered to be unfeminine as a character as she does not exhibit any of the usual traits associated with a ‘Princess’ character.