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A Multimodal Deconstruction of the 2021 Short Film “Save Ralph”

Eileen Rahab B. Bagyan

Bernard Jeremiah V. Leoligao

Atheena C. Madlaing

University of Baguio, Baguio City, Philippines

Abstract: Short films as a means to advocate propaganda are a convenient, accessible, and appealing form of media that allows people to learn about recent societal issues. Save Ralph is a prime example that effectively portrays the exploitation of rabbits as test subjects in the cosmetic industry. The objective of this study is to deconstruct and analyze the aforementioned film’s multimodal components; particularly, the linguistic, visual, spatial, gestural, and audial elements. The results from accomplishing this objective have also been used to elaborate on the effectiveness of Save Ralph as a means of propaganda and derive a list of methods or approaches that would help film creators who choose to follow the same endeavor in the future. To achieve these goals, the researchers adopted a qualitative approach that utilizes the multimodal discourse analysis and the deconstruction approach. The analysis has shown that there are varying themes procured from the data such as specific emotions and recurring symbolism. Moreover, in determining the elements’ contribution to the effectiveness of the film as propaganda, various linguistic and psychological concepts were utilized to draw the appropriate reaction from the audience. On another note, this indepth study of all five modes helps resolve the scarcity of studies revolving around the multimodal analysis of animated short films. Ultimately, the results from this research imply that the different elements used in propaganda short films convey specific and important messages that have the potential to influence human emotion and perception.

Keywords: Short Film, Mockumentary, Propaganda, Multimodal Analysis, Deconstruction Approach

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