I wrote this essay for my Comm 349 class this past summer of 2012. I got an A on the paper and even had a personalized email from the professor, praising me for coming up with this work of art.
If anyone can appreciate this, it'd be you guys.
<I removed my name for this post>
Comm 349 Section 88
Professor <I removed the professors name for this post>
Leadership Movie Paper
Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back
In this essay I will analyze Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back for its elements of Leadership. To do this I will start by reviewing the movie itself and the main leader within the film. I will then describe what is going on in this movie using what I have learned in this class by analyzing leadership traits, style, skills, and vision. Next, I will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the leader himself and finish by offering suggestions for how the leader could have been more successful in his goal.
Pokémon the First Movie follows the story Mewtwo, a genetically modified clone of the ancient pokémon, Mew. Mewtwo’s main goal through the first half of the movie is to find out why he was created. It turns out that Mewtwo was made to be the most powerful pokémon in existence so that he could be used as a weapon. Mewtwo is so powerful, in fact, that he becomes self-aware and kills those who created him. Mewtwo’s new goal is to kill all humans and make a free world for pokémon to live in peace together. In order to achieve this goal, Mewtwo builds his own cloning apparatus and calls some of the most powerful pokémon trainers in the region to his island. After he takes DNA samples from these trainers’ pokémon, he creates his own army of super powered clone pokémon. Through a series of events that leads to the death of a ten year old, Mewtwo learns that not all people are harmful to pokémon and that it’s not his place to free them. Mewtwo then leaves his island and heads to a land where he can live peacefully with his clones.
Mewtwo’s strongest traits are his confidence, motivation, and determination. Mewtwo’s confidence really shows through when he explains to the pokémon trainers what his mission is. He truly believes that what he is doing is the right thing and he is willing to take every step to get there without hesitation. Motivation is a series of events that shapes an individual’s behavior. Mewtwo’s motivation comes from his time at the laboratory; the tests that were conducted on him were ruthless and painful enough to make him hate humans as a species and want to eradicate them. Determination is the decision to get the job done. Mewtwo is so determined to succeed in freeing pokémon from trainers that he starts a small war to prove that his free pokémon are stronger than any human’s pokémon no matter how well trained it is.
Mewtwo’s philosophy about human nature is somewhat Theory Y with a pinch of Theory X. The interesting thing about his philosophy is that it’s skewed towards a negative view of humans on both sides. Mewtwo believes that the average person likes to do work, but only if that work leads to destruction or control. Humans are to be held completely responsible for their actions, and the consequences must meet their actions in intensity. Since he’s convinced that all humans are destructive and controlling, Mewtwo plans to do just that, control humans and eventually destroy them. The third assumption about seeking responsibility does not show true with Mewtwo’s philosophy, here’s where Theory X comes into play. Mewtwo in convinced that humans have brainwashed pokémon into thinking that working with them is a positive thing, thus humans take responsibility for something that they actually have not done by saying that they’re friends and partners with their pokémon. Mewtwo thinks that the humans have tricked pokémon into thinking that subordination is the natural way of things.
By using mind control to influence his cloned pokémon and a single human at various points in this film, Mewtwo shows his leadership style to be very authoritarian. Mewtwo’s case, of course, is extreme in that he literally forces his subordinates to do his bidding without giving them a choice as to whether or not they feel that it’s right. He also states numerous times that he is in control of things and that no human nor pokémon can ever oppose him, he proves this by willingly sacrificing his human slave.
Mewtwo’s skills are strongest in the administrative and conceptual categories, while he has virtually no interpersonal skill. With administrative skill, Mewtwo manages his people (only one actual person) through mind control. He literally has 100% control of this subordinate in this case as he forces Nurse Joy to do whatever he bids her to do. He also manages his resources (in this case, pokémon clones) with his mind control powers. Again, Mewtwo can completely control what these pokémon do with his psychic abilities. At last we come to Mewtwo’s technical competence; he shows that he can hold his own in a real pokémon battle by beating several pokémon and fighting Mew (the pokémon that was originally cloned to create Mewtwo) for an extended period of time. For conceptual skill, Mewtwo creates a strong vision (which I will talk about in more depth later) about freeing pokémon from their trainers. His problem-solving skills aren’t addressed much other than that he resolves to destroy anything that opposes him. Mewtwo’s actions appear to be spontaneous most of the time, thus his strategic planning skills are relatively low; he does manage to build an island and manipulate the weather in order to get specific pokémon trainers to his island, though, which was all part of his master plan. Interpersonally he does not care at all for other’s emotions as he can simply control individuals to think what he wants them to. He does seem somewhat socially perceptive, though, as near the end of the movie, he starts to understand how humans and pokémon feel. The main issue here though is his conflict management skills; he usually resolves to attack anything that confronts him. Needless to say, this isn’t a good thing in most cases.
Now I will talk a little about Mewtwo’s vision. His picture is an ideal future where pokémon live without humans to control them. His change towards a positive future is that he will simply remove humans from the planet and create a whole new world order filled only with his free pokémon. Mewtwo surely values power as he sees power as the only way to achieve his goals, his goal, of course, is freedom for all pokémon. Mewtwo’s map wasn’t laid out strongly in the movie, but what I have come to understand was that he needs to steal DNA from all of the pokémon on his island, modify that DNA to strengthen his new pokémon clones, kill all humans, and then rebuild the world without humans to benefit all pokémon. The challenge for all of the clones (including Mewtwo) is to be better than the original pokémon and eventually defeat the pokémon itself to prove superiority.
Here I will evaluate Mewtwo himself as a leader by comparing his strengths and weaknesses. Mewtwo’s biggest strength is his ability to control others with his mind. While he doesn’t express this ability too often on humans, he does manage to simultaneously control hundreds of pokémon while fighting Mew; this is why he is so strong with his administrative skill. He also has a clear goal which is to eradicate humans from the planet. This is a profound goal, but Mewtwo has an extremely strong will to win and has an army of enhanced pokémon to back him up.
For improvement I would have Mewtwo start out by taking a look at how he will rebuild his world, it’s not going to be easy and he never expresses a plan of how he’s going to do this. I think that Mewtwo’s interpersonal skills are far too low to be a strong leader. Although he uses mind control to manage his subordinates, he really should learn how his actions are affecting everybody as a whole, rather than just him and his clones. Mewtwo also should work on his emotional intelligence, it’s clearly difficult for him to do this, but if he allows his subordinates to be happy on their own and make their own decisions, I think that they will end up happier in the long run and his goal of a free pokémon community will be easier for him to reach. As for his conflict management skills, he shouldn’t rely on his mind control and destructive power resolve conflict. What he really needs to work on is finding the best solutions for his conflicts, as destroying things isn’t the best way to get everything to go your way. I think that if Mewtwo was to look at things a little bit more through the relationship lens rather than task, he would be able to figure out that pokémon aren’t being brainwashed into working with humans, they actually are partners and coworkers with humans, and thus are happier when they are working with humans than they would be if they were free to be on their own (sort of Theory X). He also would be a more likable individual which would make it easier for him to negotiate for things or convince people that his mission is worthwhile (only if he changes his mission from killing all humans of course).
I also might have Mewtwo try to pick up the democratic leadership style, rather than being purely authoritarian. If he was to listen to others, he could adjust his vision to perhaps convince other pokémon that his goal of killing all humans is righteous, or he may learn that not all humans are terrible. I would like to see Mewtwo find a good middle ground that he can work with to make everybody happy. I’d say that the change can be to make humans give their pokémon the option to be free if they want to, rather than be stuck in their pokéball if they don’t want to be with a human. His value should stay the same, but maybe change his map to something a lot less violent and forceful. Instead of stealing DNA, creating powerful clones, and making a whole new world, Mewtwo could try to adjust the current world to fit with his standards. At that the challenge would change of course and he would be challenged to reach out to the world and teach everybody his vision.
Northouse, Peter. Introduction to Leadership Concepts and Practice. California: Sage Publications, Inc. 2012. Textbook
Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back. Dir. Michael Haigney. 4Kids Productions, 1998. Netflix. Web. 10 June 2012
This is very well written and also very amusing. Looking at a character in a children's movie with an adult view of their leadership skills is strangely... enlightening? The strangest, yet best (IMO), part of that was that for the most part it didn't read like it was an analysis of a plot line but of historical events (except of course where you clearly stated it was about a film).
"There's no disease in this world that can't be cured."
This is pretty good. If you're interested in this kind of stuff, I'd suggest that you go to thatguywiththeglasses.com and watch Suede, Linkara and Jewario's reviews of the Pokemon movies. They've done only the first two movies and plan on doing all of them in due time. (in case you're wondering, the videos are on Suede's section)
I totally got an A on this. The professor even emailed me after having read it to apologize for underestimating me and that I've completely changed his viewpoint on Pokemon. He called it Japanimation...