From 'Avatar' to 'Jurassic Park,' 'Beowulf' to 'Jaws,' All Stories Are the Same
A ship lands on an alien shore and a young man, desperate to prove himself, is tasked with befriending the inhabitants and extracting their secrets. Enchanted by their way of life, he falls in love with a local girl and starts to distrust his masters. Discovering their man has gone native, they in turn resolve to destroy both him and the native population once and for all. Avatar or Pocahontas? As stories they’re almost identical. Some have even accused James Cameron of stealing the Native American myth. Take three different stories: A dangerous monster threatens a community. It’s the story of Jaws, released in 1976. And it’s more familiar than that: It’s The Thing, it’s Jurassic Park, it’s Godzilla, it’s The Blob—all films with real tangible monsters. Our hero stumbles into a brave new world. It’s Alice in Wonderland, but it’s also The Wizard of Oz, Life on Mars, and Gulliver’s Travels. It’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, Morte D’Arthur, Lord of the Rings, and Watership Down. 1.