UP

Up – The Hero’s Journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Carl is a young boy with dreams of emulating his hero Charles Muntz

Call to Adventure

Carl meets Ellie and they promise to live a life of adventure

Refusal of the call

Everyday life seemed to get in the way of their plans

Supernatural Aid

Carl is an old man and the hero of the story. He plays a reluctant mentor for Russell and ends up learning something from him.

Crossing the First Threshold

Attaching balloons to his house and taking off for one last adventure

Belly of the whale

A near death experience in the thunderstorm and it carries them away to a far off place near Paradise falls

The Road of the trials

Carl struggles to get his house to Paradise falls as he has to tow it along and endure the constant nattering and clumsy behaviour of Russel the wilderness explorer

Meeting with the Goddess

Russel and Ellie are Carl’s inspiration. Carl and Ellie never had children but they loved each other dearly, when Ellie died, love also died in Carl’s life and it takes Russell to appear in his life to awaken it again.

Woman as Temptress

The distraction from his goal is Kevin the bird. When Carl meets Muntz, he’s excited, however he shifts between trying to get his house to Paradise falls to rescuing Kevin.

Atonement with the Father

Russell tells Carl a story about sitting on the curb counting cars with his father. Russell admits that although this sounds boring, sometimes the boring things in life are the things he remembers and loves the most. Up until this moment, Carl has seen Russel as an annoying kid but now he sees Russell as lonely boy seeking love and attention because he doesn’t get it from his dad.

Death of the mentor

Russel is upset with Carl because he had to save his house from burning down and in doing so, allowed Muntz to capture Kevin. Russel abandons Carl and flies off to rescue Kevin

Apotheosis

Carl flicks through Ellie’s book and discovers that far from living an unfulfilled life, their relationship was her life’s greatest adventure and she encourages him to live on and have another.

Ultimate Boon

He throws all the excess weight out of the house and gets it back in the air and goes after Muntz. Now he’s a changed man, he’s excited and filled with passion instead of being a grumpy old man and he’s ready to take on the final challenge ahead.

The Magic flight

Fighting with Charles Muntz as he rescues Russell, Kevin and Dug

Rescue from without

About to be killed by Muntz and Dug the dog knocks the controls and throws the blimp to one side allowing the old man to escape

The crossing of the return Threshold

He returns home with his new friends and allies, Russell, Dug and the rest of the pack

Master of two worlds

His has achieved the dream of the house by the falls but also he’s achieved happiness by living in the now.

Freedom to live

He sits on the sidewalk counting cars with the Russell, something boring but better than an wild adventure because he’s with someone he loves

 

Up is a perfectly structured, it’s a love story which spans virtually Carl’s entire life.

 

wall-e

Wall-e – The Hero’s Journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Wall-e is a clean up robot left on Earth after all of the humans have left because the pollution is so high that the plants have all died. Wall-e lives alone but longs for someone to hold his hand.

Call to Adventure

Eve arrives on Earth to look for life on the planet and Wall-e falls in love with her.

Refusal of the call

Eve doesn’t want anything to do with Wall-e but he is persistent in his attempts to get her attention and makes a connection with her

Supernatural Aid

Wall-e doesn’t have a mentor in this story, however the Captian has Auto, the ship’s automated pilot giving advice and guidance to him.

Crossing the First Threshold

The ship arrives to take Eve back and Wall-e smuggles himself on the ship by attaching himself tot onboard and takes off with her.

Belly of the whale

Eve discovers Wall-e has followed her into the Bridge and tries to hide him. They can’t find the plant so she is deemed defective and he is sent for cleaning.

The Road of the trials

He’s on the loose on the Axiom, making friends and trying to help Eve, recover the plant and at the same time help the morbidly obese humans get their lives back.

Meeting with the Goddess

Eve is Wall-e’s Goddess, she inspires him to be a hero, even if slightly unwittingly at times

Woman as Temptress

The temptation was from the automated lifestyle the morbidly obese humans have been living. They’d gone down the wrong path and it was easier to stay that course but it is also wrong. The captain and the human’s that Wall-e touched are the ones who lead the humans out.

Death of the mentor

This occurs to the Captain when Auto  commits mutiny and attempts to imprison him.

Atonement with the Father

Eve tries to send Wall-e home on a pod, however they notice GO-4 trying to jettison the plant into space and destroy it. However Wall-e saves the plant and flies around the hip using the fire extinguisher in a dance of love in space with Eve. Now they are on the same page, united in the goal of protecting the plant and exposing the cover up by Auto

Apotheosis

Eve sees into the past and learns that Wall-e cared for her when she was in hibernation waiting for the mother ship to collect her. This knowledge cements her love for Wall-e

Ultimate Boon

The Captain learns all about Earth and discovers what a great place it is and wants to go back.

The Magic flight

Auto shoots Wall-e and Eve out into space.

Rescue from without

While Wall-e has jammed the machine open, McCrea manages to turn off Auto.

The crossing of the return Threshold

The Axiom space ship returns to Earth

Master of two worlds

Eve tries to repair Wall-e but he doesn’t recognize her and returns to compacting garbage. It’s only when Eve holds his hand that his system reboots and he recognizes her

Freedom to live

They return to Earth to bring life back to it and also the people.

los-increibles

The Incredibles – The Hero’s Journey breakdown

Ordinary world

They are a family of Supers who have to keep their powers secret.

Mr I has a boring job that sucks the life out of him.

Dash is behaving badly at school because he can’t be a Super

Violet is shy around the boy she likes

Helen wants her husband to engage in the family more.

Call to Adventure

There are two possible events which could be listed as the Call to adventure. Firstly that the government has forced the Supers to go into hiding to avoid law suits and the second one is the message from Mirage inviting him to join the secret Government program.

Taking a look at the message from Mirage, he accepts this invitation immediately and then finds himself on a plane on his way to the island. This is not a typical response to the Call to the adventure. I think this event sits better as the break into the second Act. Normally the Call to adventure or the Inciting incident is something that happens TO the hero and the break into Act II is the hero taking action in response to the call. Thus, MR Incredible forced into hiding by the government is the Call to adventure and choosing to go on the secret mission is his response to that.

Refusal of the call

Mr. Incredible and his friend Frozone secretly go out at night listening to the police scanners. So essentially to save the world they are forced to go into hiding at the start of the film  and then by the end, in order to save the world they have to come out of hiding.

Supernatural Aid

Mr Incredible is an experienced hero with code of honor that guides him. He’s nicely conflicted here, he’s lying to his wife so he can remain true to himself and be a true to his inner hero.

Crossing the First Threshold

Mr Incredible tells Mirage he accepts the job offer presented to him by Mirage.

Belly of the whale

This can be a stage where the hero gets his first hint of death, that he is in dangerous situation. Mr Incredible fights the Omnidroid and climbs inside to get it to destroy itself. Which has a call back later in the film when that is the clue which helps him destroy the next Omnidroid.

The Road of the trials

Re-training himself back up to become Mr Incredible again. Getting his new uniform.

Meeting with the Goddess

His wife is the Goddess, at the start of the film he’s apathetic and detached from her, so much so that she even suspects an affair. It’s only once he thinks he lost her in the plane explosion that he realizes how much he loves her. She is his inspiration.

Woman as Temptress

Mirage is the Temptress offering Mr Incredible great rewards but he must keep it secret from his wife forcing him to make a choice between being honest with his wife and being honest with himself i.e. be a hero.

Apotheosis

Apotheosis often refers to a gaining of knowledge. Mr Incredible learns of the Omnidroid program

Death of the mentor

Death of the Mentor is flipped onto Mirage. When Syndrome tests Mr Incredible’s mettle by daring him to kill her. This essentially ends her relationship with her mentor.

Ultimate Boon

The Incredibles unite as a family and use their super powers together, destroying the guards. Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl have a moment where they relive the glory of the good old days. Now they are united and ready to take on the challenge of Act III

Atonement with the Father

While the whole family is captured, Mr Incredible realizes that his family were his greatest adventure and he almost missed it. This is a moment of self revelation which he was unaware of up till now. It took the thought of the loss of his family to make him learn this lesson.

The Magic flight

They big climatic fight against the Omnidroid  including a flight in the rocket ship to get there.

The crossing of the return Threshold

They are thanked by the government for saving the city and told by an official they are going to be looked after again as they are being driven home.

Rescue from without

A last minute save from an unexpected source; Jack-Jack’s powers come out and he burns Syndrome which causes him to get sucked into engine and blown up. “No capes!”

Master of two worlds

All of the problems at the start of the film have been resolved. Mr Incredible is engaged in his family, Violet is confident enough to ask the boy she like out on a date, Dash gets to compete at the school sports day and his parents cheer him on to come second..

Freedom to live

The family put on their superhero masks to take on the new threat of the Underminer.

 

This story has a long prologue to set up the story of the world of the Supers and the origin of  Syndrome. Although it appears around page ten, Incrediboy asking to become Mr Incredible’s side kick and he refuses is not the Call to Adventure and the Refusal. The first twenty pages are the prologue, similar to what Star Wars does, so the first Act seems longer.

Million Dollar baby cleaned up at the Oscars (it was a brilliant film – the third act was superb) The Incredibles was the best film of the year. It didn’t win Best Screenplay either, that went to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind.  Hmm that’s probably fair enough, that script had the rug pulled out from under everyone that watched it and had a message about eternal love, which is extremely rare in romantic comedies. But The Incredibles should have won Best Cinematography. Oh well, I guess Pixar will have to be happy with the hundreds of millions of dollars they made instead.

 

 

woody

Toy Story – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Toys live a secret life when people aren’t around, they are real

Call to Adventure

Andy gets a new toy for his birthday. Buzz Lightyear and he replaces Woody as Andy’s favourite toy

Refusal of the call

“Just a mistake. Let’s give it a nice welcome” Woody still believes he is the favourite. And after Buzz puts on his amazing display of falling with style, all the other toys are eager to be his friend and find out more about him. “They’ll see, I’m still Andy’s favourite.” Woody ominously mutters to himself.

Supernatural Aid

There is no true mentor in this story.  Woody serves as Buzz’s guide to a certain extent, teaching him about the ways of the world as Buzz has no clue.

Crossing the First Threshold

Woody accidentally/deliberately knocks Buzz out the window and the other toys throw Woody out the window as punishment.

Belly of the whale

They find themselves inside the arcade game which has the Claw as it’s God.

The Road of the trials

They constantly fight, Buzz refuses to acknowledge he is a toy and Woody desperately trying to get them back home to Andy.

Meeting with the Goddess

It’s a reversal of the Goddess. Sid is the opposite of the Goddess and intends on torturing and destroying the toys. Sid serves the same purpose as the Goddess and spurs them on to become heroes.

Atonement with the Father

Buzz learns that Woody was right all along; he is in fact just a toy.

Woman as Temptress

Buzz is tempted to give up on life when he learns about his true place in the world.

Atonement with the Father

Woody has his atonement when he is trapped in the crate and he realises his pride has led to his fall. His friends have abandoned him, he’s lost Andy and he’s most likely about to die.

Ultimate Boon

Woody and Buzz reconcile. They will work together for Andy’s sake.

Apotheosis

Woody and the other toys break the rules and come to life in front of Sid.

The Magic flight

They make a desperate chase to catch up to Andy in the removal van.

Rescue from without

Buzz uses his retractable wings to release them from the rocket before it explodes and fly them into the sun roof in the car.

The crossing of the return Threshold

They make it back into the car and Andy is happy he’s found them again.

Master of two worlds

Andy has filled his bedroom with both Buzz Lightyear space posers and Woody Wild West posters. They both are his equal toys.

Freedom to live

Woody and Buzz are happy to be side by side as Andy’s toy.

 

This is a buddy pic for Woody and Buzz, they both have something to learn. Buzz needs to learn that he’s just a toy and Woody needs to make the bigger emotional journey. He needs to learn to share Andy and that he doesn’t have to be his favorite toy.  They flip the stages of the hero’s journey between them or have beats that combine for both characters.