Juxtaposition Examples In Disney Movies

What is Juxtaposition?

Juxtaposition refers to positioning two contrasting elements next to each other to evoke fresh comparisons in audiences’ minds. Directors specifically place contradictory visuals, dialogues, scenarios or motifs together to emphasize key distinctions through innate inconsistencies.

Rather than explicit commentary, viewers infer deeper significances through displayed dichotomies. He fuses discordant symbols, imagery or plot moments, creators can make nuanced statements through displayed interplay rather than direct statements. Juxtaposition thus represents an important cinematic technique for showing rather than telling.

Examples of Juxtaposition In Disney Scripts

I- “The Lion King”

“Life’s not fair, is it? You see, I… well, I shall never be King. And you… shall never see the light of another day.”

Scar juxtaposes his own situation with that of the young Simba to highlight the unfairness of life. He first laments his own misfortune, saying “Life’s not fair, is it? You see, I… well, I shall never be King.” Further, he expresses his resentment and bitterness over the fact that he will never get to rule, despite desperately wanting to.

Then Scar pivots to Simba’s dire fate, declaring “And you… shall never see the light of another day.” This abrupt shift from Scar’s complaint about not being king to Simba facing death starkly juxtaposes their situations.

2- “Beauty and the Beast”

“It’s not right for a woman to read–soon she starts getting ideas, and thinking…”

Gaston uses juxtaposition to express his sexist view that women should not read or think independently. He first states “It’s not right for a woman to read.” He is voicing his belief that reading is an inappropriate activity for females. This reflects his narrow-minded opinion that women should not seek knowledge or education. Then he immediately jumps to the consequences of women reading, saying it leads to them “getting ideas, and thinking.” He places the concept of reading right next to women forming independent thoughts, Gaston is negatively comparing the two.

The excerpt suggests that Gaston sees a direct link between women reading and them developing autonomous opinions. He juxtaposes the two concepts to imply that thinking for themselves is an undesirable result of women reading.

3- “Aladdin”

Aladdin’s line “Gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat” is juxtaposed with the opulent palace and wealthy characters, emphasizing Aladdin’s poverty and desperation. 

4- “The Little Mermaid”

Ursula’s line

“In my garden, I have a very special plant. It’s called a sea witch’s bargain”

The line is juxtaposed with Ariel’s innocent desire to become human, foreshadowing the dangerous deal Ariel will make. 

5- “Mulan”

The Emperor’s line

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all” is juxtaposed with Mulan’s struggle to find her place and prove herself, emphasizing her strength and uniqueness. 

6- “Pocahontas”

Pocahontas’ line

“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you”

In the song “Colors of the Wind” from the Disney movie Pocahontas, the line “You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you” uses juxtaposition to challenge narrow-minded thinking.

Pocahontas is pointing out the irony and flaw in the belief that one’s own group or way of life is the only valid one. She places this limiting viewpoint of only seeing people similar to oneself as “people” right next to the implied broader perspective that all humans have value regardless of differences.

By positioning these two contrasting outlooks side by side, the line emphasizes how wrong it is to deny the humanity of others based on superficial factors like appearance or mindset. It highlights the hypocrisy of considering only those sharing one’s own characteristics as people.

7- “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

Frollo’s line

“Beata Maria, you know I am a righteous man, of my virtue I am justly proud”

The quote is juxtaposed with his cruel and unjust actions throughout the film, highlighting his hypocrisy and self-righteousness. 

8- “The Incredibles”

Syndrome’s line

“I’ll give them heroics. I’ll give them the most spectacular heroics anyone’s ever seen! And when I’m old and I’ve had my fun, I’ll sell my inventions so that everyone can be superheroes. Everyone can be super! And when everyone’s super, no one will be.”

The villain Syndrome says “I’ll give them heroics. I’ll give them the most spectacular heroics anyone’s ever seen! And when I’m old and I’ve had my fun, I’ll sell my inventions so that everyone can be superheroes. Everyone can be super! And when everyone’s super, no one will be.” This quote juxtaposes the idea of everyone being super with the concept of no one being super.

Syndrome starts by proclaiming he will give people “the most spectacular heroics anyone’s ever seen.” He is boasting that his inventions will allow him to upstage the current superheroes with his over-the-top feats. This sets up the first half of the juxtaposition – a world where Syndrome’s technology makes him the ultimate superhero.

9- “Ratatouille”

Remy’s line

“I know I’m supposed to hate humans, but there’s something about them. They don’t just survive. They discover, they create. I mean, just look at what they do with food!”

The excerpt juxtaposes the typical rat’s perspective on humans. It emphasizes Remy’s unique appreciation for human creativity and his desire to break free from societal expectations. 

10- “The Princess and the Frog”

Dr. Facilier’s line

“I’ve got voodoo, I’ve got hoodoo, I’ve got things I ain’t even tried!”

Here the Tiana’s hard work and determination has been juxtaposed. It emphasizes the contrast between the villain’s reliance on magic and the hero’s reliance on perseverance. 

11- “Tangled”

Mother Gothel’s line

“You are my precious little flower, and I’m keeping you safe inside this tower”

The line is juxtaposed with her true selfish intentions. She wants to keep Rapunzel locked away for her own gain not for Rapunzel’s safety. 

12- “Zootopia”

Nick Wilde’s line

“Everyone comes to Zootopia thinking they can be anything they want. Well, you can’t. You can only be what you are.”

It is juxtaposed with Judy Hopps’ determination to become a police officer despite being a small bunny. It highlights the film’s theme of defying stereotypes and expectations. 

Conclusion

Juxtaposition’s creative usage in Disney animations, whether through contrasting visual motifs, atmospheric tones or character sentiments, accentuates layered themes that resonate deeply. Directors poignantly spotlight dichotomies between good/evil, freedom/confinement, innocence/corruption amongst others to convey nuanced messages about morality, society or coming-of-age relatively implicitly through displayed interplay rather than overt commentary. This narrative show-not-tell technique thereby adds depth across Disney’s animated repertoire through comparative language.

Read also: Juxtaposition VS Paradox

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