Monday, July 19, 2010

Themes

Recently I took my kids to see a movie called AstroBoy.

I'm not one of those parents who likes watching cartoons (though I love Toy Story) but I really enjoyed the movie. It was also interesting to see the themes woven throught the story.

Some whoppers, really.

For one, the main character is a boy who is also part machine. This is a universal theme that I think most people could relate to. The MC needs a place to belong, to fit in.

Then there's sacrifice. I almost had tears in my eyes because the little boy has been turned on by everyone, yet he knowingly gives up his life (sound familiar?) to save them.

Sacrifice is something we relate to also, though probably not to that extreme. Although I'd guess most people would aspire to be the type of person who'd lay down her life for a loved one.

Do you notice themes in movies? What themes are in your fiction? What type of themes do you enjoy reading?

27 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

Yep. I am constantly looking at the themes around me. Everything has a theme. Even our lives if you look closely. :)

Jody Hedlund said...

We haven't seen Astroboy yet, but have been considering it! So I'm glad to hear that you liked it! Now that I've been writing a while, I really do pay more attention to themes in movies. And it's also something that I've learned over the years to really talk about with my kids after we watch movies--both the good and bad themes.

Jessica Nelson said...

Tabitha, good point! I wonder what my theme is... :-)

Jody, I love talking movies over with my kids too! I really liked AstroBoy.

patti said...

TOTALLY! After reading The Moral Premise, I look for themes in EVERYTHING!!

My favorites? Redemption, sacrifice, pure love, devotion, obedience...
I'll stop now.
FUN, thought-provoking post!!

patti

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I've been on a romantic comedy theme this past month. I've bought and watched lots of the oldie ones and had fun with them. Some of the newer ones have so much swearing and sex...yuk! Why can't they make them enjoyable without that??

Linda Kage said...

In movies, I like those tear-jerkers like Sommersby, Titanic, Gone With the Wind, Romeo and Juliet; So I must like watching two people falling in love and then coming to a tragic end.

But I much perfer happy endings in BOOKS. You named the best theme. So, I'm gonna quit there. Great post.

Jessica Nelson said...

Patti, I love themes of redemption, which is maybe why I love Bad Boy heroes so much. *grin*

Donna, I don't know. I hope you find some newer ones you like though. :-)

Linda, LOL! I can't watch those movies. So sad. It's funny how your taste differs between books and movies.

Terri Tiffany said...

I was one of those moms who hated cartoon movies--daughter hates them now too:) Wonder why??LOL
I adore books with a theme to them cause they keep you thinking!

Katie Ganshert said...

I do look for themes.

Now I really want to check out that movie! I haven't even heard of it before. Sure sounds like a great one! (and I'm one of those dorky mothers that actually really likes cartoon!)

Thanks for your kind words on my blog about my back cover blurb. :)

Lisa Jordan said...

I've noticed themes and metaphors so much more now. It's almost like a fun quest to be able to pick apart a movie and see if I can identity the different elements of the writing that make the story work.

Julie Jarnagin said...

I do find myself looking for the theme now. I like when they're more subtle, and they aren't trying to beat you over the head with it.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I definitely notice themes, but more often in books. I love to read and write about forgiveness and unconditional love.

Sherrinda said...

I love themes and can usually find them in everything. :) I love the theme of love conquers all, sacrificial love, and redemption. I love love. :)

EricaVetsch said...

I tend not to notice the theme while it is happening in the book or movie, but later, upon reflection it comes to me.

I've written stories that included forgiveness, sovereignty, truthfulness, using your gifts, loyalty, and relenquishing bitterness.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I sometimes notice themes, if they are blatant. I love the theme of honor in men. To treat women with care and kindness is almost a lost art, and when I see it, it gets my attention.

Amy DeTrempe said...

I am slow to pick up on themes, I will admit it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for the comment on my book trailer, Jessica!
And I am a total movie buff.

T. Anne said...

I always look for themes in movies. I often go with a notebook in hand and take notes I think might help me with my writing. That's totally legal, right? ;)

Jill Kemerer said...

I wouldn't say I look for themes in movies, but often they'll shout at me when it's over. And I thought the writing in Toy Story 3 was incredible! They got it right!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I rarely attend movies, so I don't look for themes. One of the themes in The Moses Conspiracy is facing your fears and doing the right thing.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Good to hear about Toy Story 3, Jill! I'd like to see it soon.

Susan, those sound great!

Love hearing about what you all see and don't see. Thanks for sharing!

Faith said...

*sings*

"Flying high in the skyyyy..."

Great, now I'm going to have the old Astroboy cartoon music stuck in my head all day... LOL.

kathy taylor said...

I seldom go to movies, Jessica, but went to see Knight and Day yesterday. It was action packed a humorous, and best of all not bloody. A theme? I have no idea. Can there be too much action for a theme?

Jessica Nelson said...

LOL Kathy! I think there can.

Faith, I had no clue it was based on an older version. How interesting!

Kara said...

Themes are good. Whenever I'm brainstorming ideas with my husband he always points out the underlying theme that needs to be there throughout the book:)
I'm okay with cartoons as long as the story is good!

Nancy said...

That sounds very interesting, but sad.

The themes I love to read about are family loyalty issues and anything with brothers, dads, sisters and brother interactions. The little guy makes good is a theme I like, too.

Nancy J. Parra said...

What a great blog post. Themes are the hardest thing for me to put into words.
I think my favorite is fish out of water- we moved a lot when I was a kid so I identify with this theme.

Cheers~