Coexistence in Animation

In Momotarō’s Sea Eagle and Astro Boy, the relationship between humans, animals, and technology are not what the usual relationship that the audience would not expect to see in the real world. In the way, they portray a fantasy world where all three coexist without complications. In both films, however, humans are portrayed as the superior figure among the animals and machines.

In Momotarō’s Sea Eagle, all three aspects interacted in a way; the soldiers were portrayed as cute monkeys operating complicated machinery such as planes and were led by a human, which adds humorous aspect to a war movie. Momotarō was the only human seen in the film, and his origins were not the typical human background, having born from a peach. He leads the animal brigade in the film, depicting that human have the total power and high status because he is portrayed as a figure of authority. He gives commands to the animals and they follow with respect. Even though the Momotarō and the animals cooperate the same way a captain and his soldiers, another important factor in the film was the use of technology. Without the technology that was present in the film, they would have lost the war. The majority of the action was present in the film involves the many machine, from tanks to the bomb-dropping planes.

Momotarō is seen leading an army of moneys

Even the scene where the monkey was hopping between planes in order to save the little bird demonstrates the interactions between the characters in the film and the machines. Even Momotarō was the only human in the film, the demons were portrayed as bumbling humans; the demon leader seemed to be channeling the character Bluto, the villain in the Popeye cartoons, who has similar characteristics. In a way, the message of this film reflects humans, animals, and machines interactions in real life.

The birth of Astro Boy

In Astro Boy, after the young boy Tobio died in an accident, his father, the head of the Ministry of Science, decides on making a robot and calls it his son, but this time he intends on giving him the greatest childhood ever. Within the first few years, Astro Boy seems to live life like any young boy, but soon problems between him and father emerged. Similar to Momotarō’s Sea Eagle, humans again seems to be the most dominant figures in the film. After his father abandons him by selling him, Tobio joins a circus where robots were merely objects of entertainment without any rights whatsoever. Even thought they have no rights, the humans in the film depend on them for the simplest of tasks, having them wait on their every command; robots were portrayed as their slaves.

Going back to the scene where Tobio died in the car crash, this demonstrates that there can be dire consequences if one complete dependence on technology. After the birth of Astro Boy, it seemed that he was the epitome of both human and technology, being a robot with human emotions. In both films, humans, animals, and technology coexisted in a way where one cannot live without the other.


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