Seldom, nowadays do I find a movie I really like. The problem is not the cinematography, action or special effects, it is the story. There are few stories that are not rehashes, usually of other rehashes.
Whether the experience is real, hallucinated, dreamed or imagined, a writer writes from personal experience. A written story is never “truth” or it could not be read. Facts that are not joined together with some sort of conceptual structure is not a story.
A story needs a structure to make it resonate. The writers and producers provide that structure.
It does not matter if the story is adapted from mythology, religion, fable or fact, as long as it is stated in a way that provides insights into today’s world.
A movie can and should integrate legend, religion and mythology by converting them into dream and hallucination sequences. In the best instances the absurd and unbelievable is so integrated in the adventure, that it contributes to the story. The end result would integrate ideas, ideals, dreams, images, hallucination and imagination into a consistent story and a consistent film.
Really great stories have a drawback. If a story becomes part of the belief system, people begin to defend a didactic legend as if it were unquestionable truth. It is the problem with god spell — unquestioned belief becomes dogma. It includes the errors and the errors, for many political reasons, overshadows and perpetuates all the helpful insights. Since fanatics want to believe ALL and nothing less, all pieces of the writing, taken out of context become tools for manipulation by the unscrupulous, in religion, society or politics.
It is the problem with today’s socialism in the US. And it took root because people were accustomed to dogmatic belief in religion.
A good movie is based on a good story. A good story should seamlessly integrate fable, facts and evidence, but it should not force the listener/viewer to accept dogma in order to gain the insights of the story.
It helps if the viewer can see which adventures are based on preexisting belief systems that have been converted into dreams and hallucinations and which are based on facts and evidence. It also helps if I have not heard the story before, but even if I have, if all these factors are in place and it joins together in a dream/hallucination/adventure it is a good story. And, if that story is told with good cinematography, it is a good movie.
If I like the movie, I spend the extra time to research its history and its basis in mythology, legend and historical fact.
Good story, good movie. Animated Disney, no less.