Momotaro’s Sea Eagle: A Twist on the Old Folktale


The commanding entrance of Momotaro, is the most important scene in Momotaro’s Sea Eagle. The dynamic of the setting allows one to compare and contrast elements from the movie to the Japanese folktale as well as, understand the propaganda techniques that are applied in movie. Looking at the appearance of all of the characters supports why this scene is so crucial to the entire movie. Momotaro is clearly the central power figure and one can tell by his military attire, stoic expression, and tone of voice during his entrance. He commands the attention of his animal soldiers, as they stand at attention eagerly waiting to hear their orders. Also, having the animals stationed around Momotaro allows the audience to know immediately who is in charge because he is directly in the middle of the scene. The relationship between him and his soldiers is similar in the folktale because Spotted Dog, Monkey, and Pheasant are his soldiers; however, in this scene one can see he is more emotionally detached from his subjects. For instance, his expressionless orders imply that he is solely their commander in chief—not a companion. This contrast with the folktale enabled the Japanese Navy to appeal to the audience by making them aware of how dire the war was thus making this scene a key component of their propaganda campaign. The appearance of the animals not only contrasts with the folktale, but also, is another propaganda tactic. The animals in the folktale are depicted as ferocious fighters who support Momotaro; however in this film they are depicted as cute cartoons that are often clumsy and silly. This cuteness appeals to the younger generation of Japanese and makes them more interested in the war cause. The animal’s headbands also show patriotism to Japan, which works in conjunction with their cuteness as another propaganda technique. In all, the contrasts with the folktale and the Japanese Navy’s use of propaganda makes this scene one of the most important in the movie. 


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