June 28th, 2009

Ann Vole

Partial families as characters

Heather and Osmund the opossums on Over the Hedge are a father daughter pair. There is no explanation what may have happened to the rest of the family. They are contrasted by the complete porcupine family also on that same movie. They are also contrasted by RJ, the raccoon who claims to have lost his family in "the weed hacker incident" (and the other three species of character without others of their kind - squirrel, turtle, skunk). The bond between these broken-family characters is often damaged or diminished in some way but at the same time compensated by a very strong of need being that they do not want to lose the only family they have left. Our current society seems to have a high proportion of broken families and so it seems obvious that we need them in entertainment to provide characters and situations people can identify with and learn from. The other thing that having a father-daughter pair provides is that particular relationship is rarely explored but in this case, all the rest of the family relationships do not exist so we can focus and concentrate on that particular one.