The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

Acting for Men Part Two: Dionysus

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll.
You see a lot of the comical, buffoonish and all around negative side of this archetype on Adult Swim:

Bender of Futurama

Shin Chan

meh..the list goes on and on.

However, in live-action, Dio’ is a ROCK STAR. Dionysus is the androgynous, flamboyant, sexually ambivalent, eternal adolescent pretty boy, (unless you’re watching Adult Swim) so this archetype can be found in:

Captian Jack Sparrow ( and just about all of Johnny Depp’s most memorable fantasy characters)

( Willy Wonka could also be a Hades here, since he is ruler of a realm is very much a wonderland or a world of subconscious. We’ll have fun with Hades in later posts)


Micheal Jackson

Mick Jagger

David Bowie

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Dr. Frankenfurter ( again, who can be Hades too since he’s a ruler of mysterious realm)

There are a couple of pre-Groenig animated films that feature the Dionysus archetype

Omar of Rock and Rule ( with a hell of lot of Ares in him!)

Mok of Rock and Rule ( with a bit of Hades and Poseidon since Mok is a dark ruler with an inferiority complex)

Any emotionally complex, substance experimenting musician will be Dionysus. Beware though, this is the other brother outside of Ares who is a murderer, especially of women who reject him! Dionysus’ psyche is a world of conflicting opposites that can drive a weaker person mad and murderous actions.

But, let’s not allow this aspect dominate the overall archetype. People have more self control nowadays! Think of the two extremes of mystic and murderer…..and concentrate on the mystic.

Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Gods in Everyman continues…
The myth of Dionysus is that he was born of Zeus and a human mother. His mummy, Semele, died while he was still a fetus, and carried to term in his father Zeus thigh. Dionysus translates as, “Zeus’ limp”. In his youth he was raised in a series of foster homes and chased by Hera ( who shoulda been blaming her husband instead) and finally raised to adulthood by wood nymphs and a wine making centaur.

Hera tortured the poor guy and drove him to murder so many of his friends on travels to the East and back again. Anyone who rejected him, were possessed by Dionysus to either kill their loved ones or Dionysus just killed them himself.
Usurped Pre-Hellenist Earth Goddess or no, Hera’s a bitch!
When Dio’ returned to Thebes, Cybele ( a Pre-Olympian great mother goddess) absolved him of all his murders he committed in this madness, taught him her mysteries and he became her priest. Hence, the archetype of Dionysus the mystic.
A doting young man devotes himself to an inspiring older woman. Bed Peace:)

Dionysus is the only god who rescues and restores women. He’s also the Olympian god who reminds us of the religion before the Olympians. Dionysus traveled to the underworld and convinced Hades to resurrect his mommy Semele. Semele was later taken to Mt. Olympus to live with him. Semele was goddess of the Moon in pre-Olympian Greek faith. Also, Dionysus’ wife Adriadne who he found abandoned by he ass-hole husband Theseus on Naxos, was immortalized by Zeus of Dionysus’ sake. Adriadne was then worshipped as equivalent of Aphrodite and called Adriadne Aphrodite.

A flaky as he can be, Dionysus is a pretty good guy once his inner demons are pacified. In my life, his archetype is evident in my gay-husbands. Dio is a girl’s best friend, a male muse, so the positive side of Dionysus is in girl’s cartoons. Shoujo anime is full of them:)

You can find Dionysus in the typical feature animation “gay villain”. I would rather not go into that. Yes, I’m a coward, I know. I would really like to see more of Dionysus in animation, but at the moment he is not ready for prime time, in American television. Thankfully, in my comic and personal films, I don’t have to conform to the pesky censors!


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