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The Hero's Journey In Rango Essay

2537 words - 10 pages

Heroes help us escape life's harsh realities and provide us with the strength to dream and to believe in ourselves. Many people find it easy to relate to heroes in myths because they share a journey similar to the one we take in real life. Linda Seger suggests in her essay “Creating the Myth” that there are many similarities between hero stories among different cultures. Seger explains, “Many of the most successful films are based on these universal stories. They deal with the basic journey we take in life. We identify with the heroes because we were once heroic or because we wish we could do what the hero does” (123). These mythical archetypes are recognized universally even in movies. They continue to capture our imaginations and inspire us because every person secretly desires to be recognized as a hero one day. The movie Rango illustrates an adventure of a sheltered pet lizard that lives as an ordinary family pet. After he gets accidently lost in the desert, he finds himself facing a major identity crisis. The movie is based on the same plots that Seger suggests when creating hero myths.
The journey introduces the hero in an ordinary mundane world, where everything seems normal. Yet, there is something different that makes the hero a special person and tells him that there should be something more. In the movie Rango, the hero is introduced as a non-hero, an ordinary pet lizard who is living a safe and fairly boring life. He is riding in the back of a car, as his family is relocating across country. However, Rango’s character reveals something special about himself as he is introduced in the opening scene: Rango is very literate in Greek mythology and Shakespeare, and he dreams of becoming a hero one day.
The first stage of the mythological journey is the "call" to adventure. In this stage, the hero’s life changes as he exits his ordinary society and crosses the threshold into an extraordinary adventure. Usually, the hero can be incited into the adventure voluntarily, or he can be forced, tricked, or stumble into the quest accidently. In Rango, the hero is forced to accept the adventure when his life turns around after his aquarium falls out of his owner's car, only to be left on an open road in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Many heroes refuse the call as they become hesitant to accept the adventure, fearing the challenge or thinking they are not strong enough for this mission. Then, the hero enters the “the belly of the whale”, the zone of danger. This may require some travel or may start immediately after the first threshold, just like Rango. He crosses the first threshold and enters the belly of the whale” when unexpectedly, his aquarium launches into the air from a moving car to get smashed into pieces on the hot pavement. Not knowing where to go, Rango begins his journey through the Mojave Desert to the town of Dirt. He finds himself forced into the new world of struggle and survival. Rango has no choice but to...

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