Robots: Character form, function.

This week I will be looking at Robots again but this time identifying each characters archetypal status, and whether or not each character falls under the value of protagonist, antagonist, important/minor, flat/rounded and dynamic/static feilds. I used Google Sheets to create two spreadsheets based around certain character archetypes. The first explores typical character types within film, while the second explores the twelve major archetypical roles/personality types given to characters. This second spreadsheet demonstrates how dynamic our protagonist and ‘hero’ figure, Rodney Copperbottom, really is. He is an everyman type due to his lower middle-class upbringing. He represents every robot in the film who is like him and under personal attack due to the state of their appearances. Rodney is a caregiver for he looks after his family, friends and fixes all the broken robots so they can continue living. He falls under the creator and magician roles for he is a great inventor and invokes change to the places he visits and people he meets. Lastly, Rodney’s a hero and explorer for he ventures out into the ‘great unknown’, takes down the bad guys and saves the robots from destruction and ‘evil’.

OMDFRobots Archetypes 2

Okay, lets move onto an individual character analysis.

1The villains of the film are seen as antagonists for they try to obstruct Rodney from his goal: to save robot kind from mass destruction. Ratchet and Madame Gasket are static and flat because we know little about their background, and their personalities/motives never change. I would consider Herb to be important for he fits under the wise old man archetype. This was used to demonstrate a strong father-son relationship within the film, whereas the mother is a flat character because she has little input in the development of Rodney. 2Fender is a central character because he becomes Rodney’s guide and closest friend in Robot City. He is also the jester/comic archetype;  the butt of many of the films humour stems from him. the rest of Rodney’s friends are quite minor; they only serve the purpose of spurring the hero on in his journey. However, Crank shows one exception where, instead of being static he is dynamic. This is because at first he was  negative and did not like the idea of facing his fears. Toward the end though, he changes his mind; choosing to fight with his friends! The others are static because their personalities never change.3Tiny Tim is not a bad guy, but he is an antagonist because he obstructs Rodney from entering Bigweld Industries. Even though we only see Bigweld in small doses at the beginning and toward the end, he is a very important character. This is because he is what inspired Rodney to become and inventor, and it was Bigweld’s T.V show that allowed Rodney to hear quotes such as “See a need, fill a need” and “You can shine no matter what you;re made of”. Bigweld is another wise old man archetype as well as a creator, magician type. He is dynamic only because throughout the film, his spirits changed due to his circumstances, then change once more as his confidence is restored due to Rodney’s influence. Lastly, wonderbot is important because he serves as Rodney’s sidekick. He aids Rodney in getting from A to B, he points out important issues to Rodney and is a loyal companion. Wonderbot is rounded  and dynamic because we know where he came from and how he was made. We see that at first, Wonderbot was shy and timid, then matures into a confident, playful character due to his exposure to the big wide world.

Wow! I really loved doing this exercise! It is really awesome to start unpacking what we otherwise consider just a ‘film’. In doing so, I’m really getting to see the story inside-out, and am noticing so much more about the characters and each of their roles. This shows me that every character is there for a reason- each one serves to function certain individuals, and thus move the story forward and into the depths of the narrative. It would be cool analyse a film with a villain protagonist such as Maleficent. She is known to be a bitter and evil character in that of sleeping Beauty, however in the film about herself, we get to see her life story and how she develops into the ‘evil’ character filled with pain and revenge. i look forward to next weeks class and what it has to offer!


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