When looking at most animated films I’ve found that the ones I have seen keep a very Hanna-Barbara kind of quality. That is to say they have very fluid lines and round objects, soft on the eyes and very colorful backdrops and characters. What I found effective in watching Persepolis is the fact that even though the style of the animation is very primitive almost – the lines are a bit more shaky and not as linear. Everything seems to be more of a symbol of reality rather than a direct reality. It is the images that hit our brains and the voices we hear that make the images more real. It was pure irony to see very basic images and silhouettes when there were graphic actions taking place. What is left to the imagination is often stronger than what you actually see. This is a theme within the film.
The scene I am going to focus on is in the beginning of the film. It involves Marjane and her father discussing the history of the Shah. The feelings I had during this scene were that it was a big secret between them – the camera pulls them away from the rest of the family and the background goes black. This made me think, “okay, they’re pulling away from the rest of the family so that he can explain this to her without any other intervention from the others.” The way the characters are then pulled out of focus to reveal a stage for a puppet show instantly made me feel that Marjane’s father was going to try to tell this story as delicately and simply as an adult might think a child can handle. This is a moment that is not even twenty seconds of film yet the impressions are given because of the images.
Marjane is drawn a bit more cartoonish than her family I noticed, but only in the scenes where she is a child. That choice makes the viewer identify her the way we might identify most characters drawn that way – for example the Hanna-Barbara characters – she seems like she will be funny, light, simple and entertaining. I think this is highly effective when...