Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dreamworks’ Home Features a Favorite Children’s Trope: A Best Friend

Last week, My Writing and Editing Coach considered children’s tropes in use in Home, a 2015 Dreamworks’ film. The focus was on the child forced to complete a quest after losing a parent to death or distance.

This week, the focus is on the best friend that helps the child complete his quest. In fact, many stories suggest that the child could not succeed without that friend.

Stuffed animals often become confidantes, pals, and best
friends for children. Dreamworks' Home features Oh, an
alien from Boov in the role of best friend for Tip.
Christopher Robin has Pooh, and Pooh has Piglet. Mice, birds, and fairy godmothers befriend Disney’s Cinderella. Even spunky little Anna has help from Olaf.

Indeed, a child’s best friend is often an imaginary one or an animal, animated or stuffed. For Tip, the child at the center of Home, her acquired and necessary best friend is the alien, Oh, from the planet Boov. He is both wise and foolish. He knows how to power a little car so that it will fly, but he doesn’t understand that conquering an entire planet is not an act of kindness.

Oh learns, however, as he helps Tip journey to her mother. Tip also learns from Oh. Both evolve and grow from enemies to frenemies to devoted pals who would risk everything, even life and safety, to help the other. This, it seems, is the power of friendship and love. Both restore us to a state of well-being; both enable us to find our best selves and share them with a world that is not always kind.

Reading Challenge:

“Read” Home.

Writing Challenge:

Home reveals several important points about the human experience. Choose one stated below to develop an essay or journal entry.

  • The reasons conquerors use to justify invasion and war may be self-serving.
  • Leaders may lead a nation into circumstances that harm many; people must think for themselves and act in the interest of greater good.
  • Everyone makes mistakes, even aliens, young girls, and whole planets.
  • One nation’s action could drive another nation into extinction.
  • The bonds between mother and child are powerful.
  • Everyone has the heart of a hero, but not everyone can overcome healthy self-interest to be heroic.
Connye Griffin writes My Writing and Editing Coach.
She also writes for Our Eyes Upon Missouri.