Group 1: Dark Summer

Preliminary Group 2C: Pens

Monday, October 12, 2009

Propp's Analysis of Stories: The Lion King

In The Lion King, the main characters that provide narrative functions are:
*The villain- Scar
*The donor- Rafiki
*The helpers- Timon+Pumbaa
*The princess- Nala
*Her father (in this case mother)- Sarafina
*The dispatcher- Nala
*The hero- Simba
*The false hero- Scar

In our board game, however, we did not show Sarafina as does not play a large part in the story. We showed the other characters by:
*Scar-if you land on a square with him, you miss a go or are sent back
*Rafiki- a drawing of him with the words "what will your destiny be" (magical, relates to how he is in the movie)
*Timon+Pumbaa- they take you across a bridge. This is an iconic moment in the film, which shows time passing as Simba grows from a cub to an adult lion.
*Nala (princess)- you marry her at the end of the game and win
*Nala (dispatcher)- you land on a square where she helps you to advance in the game.
*Simba- he is shown as the antagonist throughout the game.

Vladimir Propp also stated in his theory that there are 31 functions in a story. We identified some of these e.g.:

*Member of the family absents himself from home: Simba leaves
*Villain causes harm: kills Simba's father Mufasa
*Hero discovers the lack: Nala informs Simba
*Location shifts to the place where the lack is to be found: Simba returns to Pride Lands
*Villain defeated: Scar dies
*True hero recognised: Simba wins at the end
*Hero marries and ascends throne: Simba weds Nala

We used many different techniques to illustrate the theories. We drew pictures to show important moments (e.g. when Simba is born and held up over Pride Rock-iconic moment).

Also we made some squares with information in them (e.g. 'Timon and Pumbaa find you' or 'You marry your childhood sweetheart')

Furthermore important settings in the plot where established- Pride Rock is shown with a picture and a central square witch is the only coloured in one-this centralises Pride Rock as it is vital to the story.


What made things hard with this theory is that it was written in the 1920s, so it is there is bound to be a problem when applying such an old theory to contemporary media. It was hard to demonstrate how the film used Propp's functions, as some seem repetitive or may not be exactly right. Also, the eight character types where supposed to be different people but in some cases the same character can fit into two types (i.e Nala = dispatcher AND princess).

Also, I found it fairly difficult to physically lay out the board game- i.e. what goes where? Where do we place crucial parts of the story on the board game? What goes in which box?

All in all, we tried hard to make our game look asthetically pleasing, make sense and follow the plot exactly, which I believe we achieved. However, I think that the one thing we failed to do was make sense of which character's point of view we played from... We had different counters, s a player could be Simba or Nala or Timon etc, but we seemed to have it from Simba's POV.

So, we may not have been the best board game creators but we completed the task and used Propp's theory accordingly. :)


Anonymous said...

As many of Musicals lovers I LOVE the Lion King! It is my favourite ever... Last year I’ve been in NY & I tried to get my ticket …guess what everything was sold out that show how great the show is. Anyhow I end up getting it from a site through Next week I’m going to visit my sister and I just got some pretty good tix from the same place

So I'll be analyzing as well as enjoying the show.