Photo of Gruffalo on screen by @topgold.
EVERY CHRISTMAS, our home dusts off The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Today, I bring the framework of the monomythical story into my third level lecture hall where creative third level students will dissect it.
The book by itself provided hours of bedtime reading for the past three years. The stuffed animals licensed by Julia Donaldson to complement the book perch invitingly above the storybooks, colouring books and posters whenever we visit O'Mahony's Book Shop in Limerick. We have used mountains of pocket money to bring parts of the extended Gruffalo story to our daughter's bedroom. She sleeps better as a result.
The story of The Gruffalo is well-executed on several levels. Its narrative quality suspends our children in a fantasy land with so many nooks and crannies, some that do not appear on the pages of Donaldson's written work. A few of Mia's interpretations reimagine parts of the video, mashing up parts of Michael Jackson's Thriller with thrilling death-defying slices from Britain's Got Talent.
A well-defined pathway along the hero's journey makes The Gruffalo work for millions in its audience and also for animators and script writers who deconstruct it with me today.