Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship
‘Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship’, directed by Anthony Lucas The first episode in The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (2006)
‘Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship’ is a 2006 animation in the steampunk genre. It follows the story of a navigator, Jasper Morello, who goes on a voyage to place weather beacons, but when the ship is destroyed and their journey derailed they wind up on a mysterious island. This island is home to some creatures that feed on blood and tissue, but whose own blood cures an infectious plague affecting the city of Gothia.
Steampunk borrows a lot of gothic themes and ideas, and some aesthetic and thematic similarities to Frankenstein should be noted: the plots of each revolve around the actions of a controversial scientist and his creature, raising some moral questions about ethics in the pursuit of knowledge, the hubris of man and the value of life. These themes are matched by a dark, chiefly sepia, colour scheme and silhouettes of characters.
The narrative voice is also a little bit different to what we’re used to: it’s a first person, internally focalised narration by the protagonist Jasper Morello. However, by the end we discover he is writing an account of his journey for the benefit of anyone who stumbles upon him. In this way the story is self-referential, with the animation and story being inside the story rather than speaking to the audience.
The industrial age was a huge period of change and discovery, generally regarded as the technological and scientific prelude to the modern age. Do you think there is any significance, in your study of discovery, that this text about science and discovery occurs in such a time period?
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