Shaun of the Dead. Hot Fuzz. The World’s End. These movies make up the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy, and they share more in common than the creative team of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright.
They all tell the story of the Monomyth, otherwise known as the Hero’s Journey:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
-Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Not familiar with this concept? Long story short, it’s a narrative structure that’s shared by many of our most memorable stories, from Gilgamesh to Star Wars. Some follow this structure on purpose; others by accident. Take a few moments to review the Wikipedia article and orient yourself to the seventeen stages. If you’re still a little fuzzy about what these stages look like in modern movies, check out this mapping of the Star Wars and Matrix trilogies to these stages as well.
Now, are you ready to Cross the Threshold and see how this maps to the Cornetto Trilogy? Probably not, because this is pretty insane. But here it is anyway (click for even larger version):
A few important things to keep in mind while reading this:
So what this all mean? In a nutshell, the Hero’s Journey effectively functions as a satirical element of these movies. Part of the satire may be in calling out the frequent usage of the Hero’s Journey in genre movies, but to me, most of the satire lies in the movies’ implicit reminders that achieving self-actualization and escaping from the mundanity of daily life is actually harder than what we see in these genre movies. Lacking a call to adventure, a crossing of a threshold, or an ultimate boon, we have no structure to defeat the real forces of conformity and mundanity in our lives. They may not be zombies, psychotic villagers, or robots, but they’re real, and that makes them more fearsome enemies than anything a storyteller can throw against a hero.
Readers: what do you think? Do you have any suggestions for better ways to map the movies’ plot points to the Hero’s Journey? Do you think the Hero’s Journey acts as a satire in the Cornetto Trilogy, or is it just a convenient way to tell a good story? Let me know in the comments!
Special thanks to Fenzel and Stokes, who came up with this idea on the Overthinking It Podcast, and Stokes, who filled out most of the steps for Shaun of the Dead.
Shaun of the Fuzz’s End: The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy and the Hero’s Journey originally appeared on Overthinking It, the site subjecting the popular culture to a level of scrutiny it probably doesn't deserve. [Latest Posts | Podcast (iTunes Link)]
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|A classic, I think you'd agree|
It is ridiculous that when unemployment stands at almost 2.5 million more than half of all new jobs still go to foreigners.Wait a minute? Doesn't he know it's the dawn of a new age and most new jobs go to British born people now? Maybe not. In June, in 'Male migrants enjoy higher levels of employment than men born in Britain', the Express told us:
An estimated 225,000 people among the 423,000 who found work in the last year were not born in the UK, showed data released by the Office for National Statistics.Are migrants taking most new jobs or a third of them? Which paper is right? The answer is both. And neither.
why did the chicken cross the road
to get its baby monkeys ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahaha
How do you wake up Jessie J ?
Poke her face
Wow that’s crazy
THIS IS THE CUTEST EFFING THING.
If only Messrs. Douglas and Malden had known about this back in the day…
Many thanks to all who sent in these maps (found here on Mr McCune’s blog): Andrew M. Galleni, Geoffrey Engelstein, Brian Kavanaugh, John O’Brien, Jeff Crocombe, Kate Loux, Taed Wynnell, Kelley Ketchmark, Sarah Schoenfeldt, Elise K and Brian Ogilvie.
The film industry’s move to Hollywood, early on in the 20th century, was not entirely an accident. Out west, good weather was more constant, the light better and the scenery more varied than on the East Coast. Hollywood, then still a sleepy hamlet 10 miles north of Los Angeles, was conveniently central between the bustling city and the natural splendour further afield.
Depending on how far afield you’d want to carry your tripod, that splendour could be a stand-in for a surprisingly wide swathe of the world.
This map, apparently produced by Paramount Studios in 1927, does not mention the corresponding films. Can anybody suggest any of the movies these locations refer to? The map does mention, without further context, the 19th-century Californian poet Bret Harte.