Entertainers, writers, and movie makers have introduced us to crazy non-human characters for ages. We’ve had E.T., ‘the prawns’ from District 9, 95% of the characters on Sesame Street, Jake from Adventure Time, Addams Family’s Thing, the whole cast of Lion King, South Park’s Towelie, beautiful Groot from Guardian’s of The Galaxy…don’t forget the brilliant, crazy characters animes have exposed us to….i dunno…the list could go on.
And I came out of of the cinema after watching Guardian’s of The Galaxy thinking how much i just loved Groot and how i felt like i could relate to him…or her…or it….i don’t know. Don’t worry, i won’t say much just in case anyone who happens to read this hasn’t watched the movie yet. But he’s basically a tree. And I love trees, but i wouldn’t aspire to be like a particular tree in the literal sense.
So i was thinking…what makes these characters, that are so far from human, in some way relatable….and the answer i got was, emotions.
If they just had these non-human beings, stand around, or even just walk around, we’d really find no reason to relate to them. (Unless, of course some of us sometimes/always do feel like just part of the furniture). They’d just be part of the scenery, just things, but not the Thing.
Give a cartoon lion anger and pride, or an alien fear and love and we can somehow welcome their characters….we can like and dislike them as “people”, in a way. Forget that….how about characters who couldn’t talk or spoke another language? The assassins in Tekkonkinkreet were submissive yet angry and easily dislikable even though they said nothing and barely showed any expression.
i guess, it doesn’t take much to convince us to somehow relate to and understand out-of-the-world characters..a few facial expressions that we see everyday, a plot that requires plotting and we’re good to go. We can make a chair come alive, an alphabet, a paper clip…the possibilities are endless and i suppose it’s a bit fair to say that emotions make us human?…i suppose…
This one always gets to me…