Video Essay: The Hero’s Journey (Animation)

Joseph Campbell wrote a classic cross-cultural study of the hero’s journey back in 1949, and since then it has inspired millions. Like Star Wars, the film it helped inspire, the book was an exploration of the big-picture moments from the stage that is our world. And this theme has enabled it to remain as relevant through the years as when it was first released (it hit the New York Times best-seller list in 1988 after it had become the subject of a PBS television special, The Power of Myth).

For me, stumbling upon a re-run of the PBS series was the first that I had heard of it. It’s kind of eye-opening stuff, and it has keys to wonderful narrative-developing principles that transcend culture… and yet, whenever I ask people about it, what is apparent is that it is still very much unheard of.

Well for my circle of friends and followers, today that changes. You won’t need to read the whole book just yet (though you should). You won’t even need to watch the PBS special (though it is worth while!). Start here: this fantastic little cliff-notes animation work by Iskander Krayenbosch will break the ice for you. And trust me – it is just the kind of teaser that can get you interested in finding out more.

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