Thursday, November 21, 2013

Storytelling in Animation: South Park

This week I thought I would switch things up a bit with a look into the storytelling behind South Park since I've always wanted to write about this topic! While many of us are consumed with the aesthetic elements which make up our animations as we progress we should really  incorporate a strong plot in order to convey a cohesive product. Lastly while I am not trying to tell you to create ridiculous animations this is food for thought in what provokes your audience and how you can catch their attention.
  South Park has long been considered a major source of uncertainty for millions of Americans and citizens of other nations alike. Often known for exploiting social hierarchy, corporate America and depicting hundreds of other cultural references South Park uses unique provocative satire in their storytelling along with animation to construct social criticism and exploit wider issues in society.
Satire is found in many past and present-day plays, literature, television shows, media, commentary and has been a crucial part of South Park’s success in their 17 seasons as an American adult animated sitcom. South Park embodies a complex set of comedic values to project preferred meanings about social criticism, corruption of America and other political and social concepts involving worldwide phenomena. The storytelling behind the animated sitcom is considered so controversial it has been the source of much critical analysis by college students and scholars alike in the media and literary fields. The cultural norms displayed on the television series are often an exaggerated form of comedy used to shock the audience. While many people might explicitly reject these absurd recreations of human interaction, the questions raised by the production team in many of their episodes are something to consider. An interesting aspect to explore with the show is how the graphic material affects the way in which the individual views the world and therefore how their actions are based on their reactions to what they are viewing. For example, in many occurrences episodes contain disturbing even comedic mockery of major catastrophes and tragic events that have occurred. While some people are outraged at the show and even call the witty artistic expression a disgrace, people in America especially tend to alienate themselves from information about foreign/ national events making the show an interesting pill to swallow for the people of this nature. The show can also utilize subliminal tactics making it hard for the uninformed to pick up on the irony, satire or symbolism being used; this is sort of an “inside” joke if you will. This also raises another interesting question about whether the American public and international citizens alike can handle the ugly truth of worldwide corruption. The fact of the matter is while South Park may not be the actual event occurring in live time the animations created by this unique production team exposes the traumatizing real life truth of the world we live in.
South Park remains a controversial source of media due to the programs ruthless demeanor and unorthodox form of artistic expression. Consequently, South Park producers Matt Stone and Trey Parker utilize a compacted and convenient television show as its medium to deliver brilliant manifestations of irony and sarcasm focusing on critical worldwide issues to awaken an other wise naïve audience.

        Here are some examples of my argument... 

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