Analysis: Space Whale Aesop

  • This trope can have the unfortunate side effect of being entirely counterproductive in point of view of the Aesop it is attempting to convey. Anti-drug campaigns often grossly distort the actual effects and side-effects of drug abuse in an effort to Scare 'Em Straight, but studies have found that when children inevitably learn that smoking weed does not, in fact, make one hallucinate and then jump off high buildings, they are inclined to dismiss everything they were told in these campaigns out of hand, including the accurate information and sound advice (such as the risk of contracting HIV from sharing needles, for example), the logic being that, if some of the information presented in these campaigns is known to be false, what reason is there to believe any of it? Likewise with this trope: it is entirely possible that trying to convey a reasonable Aesop (say, "reduce greenhouse gas emissions") to the audience by depicting grossly unrealistic or nonsensical consequences of following a particular course of action (say "or else plants will get angry and release a deadly neurotoxin which will cause everyone to kill themselves") will cause the audience to dismiss not just the work but also the Aesop itself out of hand, even if the Aesop makes good sense.