The complete Dramatica analysis of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial is now online and ready for your perusal:
The above photo shows our board from the class and our determination of various story points. The eight initial Dynamic Story Points set the frame of reference and inflection points for the forces applied to the narrative model of the Storymind. Though each appears to be a binary choice, the combination of all eight combine to create a complex web of mechanics that set the story in motion.
Key Takeaways from the Analysis
Unlike most bonded pairs at the center of a narrative, the connection between Elliott and E.T. is a growing relationship not a troublesome one. With that in mind, the Relationship Story Problem of Conscience both drives and gives life to their relationship. Doing the right thing brings them closer together and motivates the development of their Throughline.
As Uncontrolled as their relationship proves to be—particularly when it comes to leaving E.T. at home while Elliot dissects frogs at school—the two find the means to bring it all under Control (Relationship Story Symptom & Relationship Story Response).
All of story exists in the differential between the internal and the external. You can either accept the Situation as presented to you the way E.T. does OR you can rally against it like Elliott and focus inward, allowing your Attitude to bring trouble and conflict to your personal Throughline.
E.T.’s Domain lies in a problematic Situation, Elliott’s in a problematic Fixed Attitude. Elliott’s preoccupation with his dad’s absense and the separation anxiety he feels works in sharp contrast to the same separation anxiety E.T. feels. One sets out to resolve it externally, the other internally.
Elliott eventually learns to accept the Situation and let go, thereby adopting E.T.’s approach and satisfying the Main Character Resolve story point of Change. By showing how the adoption of one approach over the other results in success, the Author makes the argument as to the best way to go about resolving problems.
Believe it or not, this is why E.T. persists as one of the most beloved films of all time. The narrative makes a compelling emotional argument that we all relate to and understand.