Reflection of the Cultural Values in Animation Stories Into Transmedia

Reflection of the Cultural Values in Animation Stories Into Transmedia

Veysel Çakmak (Aksaray University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5357-1.ch008
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Animations are an important communication tool that impacts the lives of people via mass media. The fundamental attraction in the animations comes from their stories. Animation stories in fact are fictional communication tools that reflect the cultural values of the societies. Cultural differences reveal themselves in various characteristics such as the characters of the stories, the places the story take place, the language being used, clothes, games, and songs. In this study, the cultural values of the animation stories in Turkey are analyzed and its transmedia aspect is discussed. Therefore, the animation produced in Turkey called Rafadan Tayfa was analyzed in terms of individualism-collectivism, power distance, masculinity-femininity, and uncertainty avoidance sub-dimensions of “cultural dimensions” by Hofstede. The same animation appeared before the viewers in different ways as a musical, book, movie, and play. In addition, it was determined that these works being produced were continuously broadcast on social media.
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Animation productions are produced and narrated in accordance with the cultural values of each country. These productions, whose target audiences are generally children, are often broadcast on TV and internet and impact the viewers. These animations, which are broadcast especially on different sites in internet today, gain credit of many viewers and even translated in different languages to be broadcast in different countries. Animation production of Turkey is recently shaped in comparison to Europe and America. However, there are many successful animations that reflect the country itself.

The most used animation scenarios from the rich content of the Turkish culture can be listed as Keloğlan Tales, Nasreddin Hodja Stories, Dede Korkut Stories, Evliya Çelebi Stories and Hacivat and Karagöz from Turkish shadow play. Narrations and characters created by different artists in different times in Turkey are now broadcast on TRT and TRT Children channels of the official channel of the state (Taş Alicenap, 2015). In addition to that, the same animations are rerun on different sites in the internet.

Animations are the most common examples of the recent storytelling/narration. Verbal narratives from past through present turn into animation structures, preserve and even reshape and extend the memory of the society. The union of cultural elements and narration techniques made animations functional and added value to them.

Meanings in the narration go through various stages, and come into existence through communing with each other, opposing each other and turning into different structures. In the production of the meaning, in addition to the “ability to use” in line with the tendencies and wishes of the creator, there can be sanctions that impact the creator at any stage of the narration creation and enforce the person to create a narration based on another person’s request. The complex and different conditions, in which every person producing narration is, determine his strategy in creating narration and the narratives to be produced will follow and be shaped by this strategy’s path (Rıfat, 2009, p. 21, Yılmaz, 2014, pp. 55-77).

The narration is the conveyance of two or more events that are logically interconnected, that takes place in time and are united under a consistent subject. While narration usually expresses the storytelling of fictional or real events, post-modernists use the concept narration in a more general way, in a way to involve statements claiming that is scientific. Narration theory focuses on the interaction between the various layers of the narrative work and differentiates between the summary of the story and the structure of the plot, areas of action controlled by different characters, how the information carried through the narration is shaped and the relationship elements between the characters of the storyteller’s story world and the events (Mutlu, 2012, pp. 27-28, Yılmaz, Çakır & Resuloğlu, 2017,).

Producing references, symbols and myths in the creation of a common culture, the media interferes with the community life so that the listener-reader-viewer section of the citizens acquires a new media literacy. The meanings and messages transferred, created and spread by the media must be understood, interpreted and criticized, and as warned by Douglas Kellner, the media must not assume the pedagogical responsibility. It is necessary to be conscious and prepared against the media’s claim of being a field that determine the thoughts, desires, fears and behaviors and create the rights and wrongs and in short the ethos (the understanding of ethics) of the society. If media is accepted to be a medium of acculturation, through which the fundamental values, practices and institutions of the society are taught, its role in the approach of identity including gender, character, class, race and ethnic background and the way to understand the world and the self can be understood better (Türkoğlu, 2015, p. 205).

The narration technique and the delivery of the animation stories, which came out as a result of the unity of culture and elements, to the society are provided not via single medium but various media platforms. TV, radio, social media tools of internet and other platforms are among the most important. Animations that reflect the cultural values of the countries impact the society/societies and give them direction via these communication tools. Therefore, the features of animation stories, their social value and their broadcast on different media environments were handled in this study. In addition, Rafadan Tayfa, which was produced in Turkey, was analyzed in this study.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hofstede Cultural Dimensions: Theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede. It describes the effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis.

Rafadan Tayfa: A cartoon broadcast in Turkey as a local animation.

Semiotics: Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the study of meaning-making, the study of sign process (semiosis) and meaningful communication.

Animation Storytelling: Animation storytelling is typically reserved for children’s tales, fantasy, and lighthearted narratives. Animation appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds because animation is a compelling way to tell a story.

Transmedia: Defined as a narrative or project that combines multiple media forms.

Turkish Culture: Turkish culture is unique in the world in that it has influenced and has been influenced in return by cultures and civilizations from China to Vienna and from Russian steps to North Africa for over a millennia.

Animation: Animation is a dynamic medium in which images or objects are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation the images were drawn (or painted) by hand on cells to be photographed and exhibited on film.

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