Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes and Mars Attacks

analytical Essay
1225 words
1225 words

Science fiction is a genre that is centered around a society that has undergone extreme advances or major social and environmental transformations. Tim Burton’s films Planet of the Apes and Mars Attacks! both fall under the category of science fiction. In Planet of the Apes Captain Davidson of the United States Air Force has been hurled into a world unlike the one he has known, where apes are the rulers and humans are the ruled. In Mars Attacks! the United States, and eventually the entire planet, is under attack by an alien race out to destroy all humans. By using the humans as the victims in these films, Tim Burton analyzes the idea of what it means to be human, decomposes our ideas of morality, and asks questions about relationships amongst people who differ from each other.
Captain Leo Davidson is out in space looking for his chimp, Pericles, who has become lost out in the galaxy, when he is launched onto an unknown planet. This planet is unlike any he would have expected to experience in his lifetime. It is a planet where apes rule and humans are hunted, captured, forced into cages, and sold as slaves to the apes. This is a planet completely opposite of the one Davidson is from. Humans are no longer superior and are seen to be at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Captain Davidson is part of a group on the space station Oberon that sends chimps into space in order to collect data. These animals live in cages and are only taken out when needed for missions that are seen as too dangerous for humans. As seen in Picture 1, these cages are in an all white room with high key lighting. These two elements relate to the belief by the astronauts that there is nothing wrong with these animals being locked in cages. This scene is loose...

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... and other races are put in every day, but they very few times receive sympathy. It is not until we relate to the victims that we are able to feel sympathy for them. Mars Attacks! shows how even though humans see ourselves as intelligent, superior beings, when really we are naïve. Planet of the Apes asks decomposes our idea of morality and asks the question of if we truly thing discriminating against others simply because they are different is wrong or if we only feel that it is wrong in cases where we are the ones being discriminated against. Both of these films, in different ways, show that we should not assume things about others without really understanding them. By using the humans as the victims, Tim Burton asks questions about the morality of humans, about the relationships between people who are different, and if people truly know what it means to be human.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that tim burton's films planet of the apes and mars attacks! both fall under the category of science fiction.
  • Analyzes how captain leo davidson is out in space looking for his chimp, pericles, who has become lost in the galaxy when he is launched onto an unknown planet.
  • Analyzes how burton uses these two contrasting scenes to decompose our idea of morality by making us question whether or not we truly believe that enslaving another creature is wrong.
  • Explains that in planet of the apes, the apes are afraid of humans because they are not like them. ari sees the humans as equal to them, which makes it easier for viewers to connect with the victims.
  • Analyzes how professor kessler's assumption in mars attacks! can relate directly to how people assume things about others who are different without even knowing them.
  • Analyzes how professor donald kessler is the dominant, wearing all white, in the center of the frame, creating the illusion that he is above them.
  • Analyzes how professor kessler contradicts himself by relating the advanced alien civilization to the idea that they are peaceful.
  • Analyzes how both mars attacks! and planet of the apes show that we should not assume things about others without really understanding them.
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