JoJo Rabbit Screenplay by Taika Waititi

Based on the Book “Caging Skies” by Christine Leunens
Main Story Beats Analysis by Shari Goodhartz


Act I

IMG 6581 199x300 - <span class='title-italic'>JoJo Rabbit </span> <span class='title-author'>Screenplay by Taika Waititi </span>

Set-Up Main Character’s “Daily Life” through Action, includes Inciting Incident

  • JOJO (10) has Nazi aspirations and wacky ADOLF is his imaginary friend
  • CAPTAIN KLENZENDORF runs a youth training camp that JoJo attends
  • JoJo is bullied for father’s MIA status, and when he refuses to kill a bunny, receives nickname JoJo Rabbit
  • Adolf convinces JoJo to humiliate bullies by a display of strength: throwing a live hand-grenade; JoJo is “blown up”

Plot Point I

  • JoJo’s mother ROSIE is revealed as incredibly playful and loving
  • JoJo discovers ELSA (17) a Jewish girl hiding in his dead sister Inga’s room Elsa easily takes JoJo’s camp knife

Act II

Conflict and Confrontations

  • Adolf pushes JoJo to confront Elsa; she gets a second knife
  • Rosie denies any knowledge of a “ghost” in Inga’s room
  • JoJo confirms Rosie is hiding Elsa, “Bad mama.”
  • Instead of confronting Rosie, JoJo visits Captain Klenzendorf to learn about demonic nature of Jews
  • Captain K demurs, but thinks a book like that could be useful; JoJo decides to write such a book by interviewing Elsa
  • Rosie is happy because the Allied forces seem to be ascendant, which pisses off JoJo; she cheers him up


  • JoJo writes a letter posing as Elsa’s finance to hurt her, which works, he quickly writes a second letter undoing the first
  • Rosie tells JoJo not to mourn loss of the war, but celebrate life… dance in gratitude! JoJo isn’t interested in dancing
  • Elsa tells JoJo he’s not a Nazi, which he denies; but also realizes he’s in love
  • Gestapo agents visit JoJo’s house, Elsa pretends to be JoJo’s devoted-Nazi sister; agents are charmed by JoJo’s illustrated book on Jewish demonology, Klenzendorf slyly helps with Elsa’s ruse
  • Adolf questions JoJo’s commitment to him

Plot Point II

  • JoJo goes door-to-door collecting metal for war effort; finds Rosie hanging in the street with other subversives

 Act III

Resolution of Dramatic Premise

  • Elsa tries to comfort JoJo; Elsa suspected Rose and JoJo’s MIA father work for the resistance
  • JoJo fears Rosie hated him for being a Nazi, learns how Rosie saved Elsa
  • JoJo learns Hitler killed himself; Allied troops approach
  • Klenzendorf saves JoJo’s life, then is killed by Russian soldier
  • Elsa admits her fiancé died last year of TB; she and JoJo decide to love each other as friends


  •  JoJo power-kicks Adolf out his bedroom window

Ending Scene or Sequence

  • JoJo takes Elsa outside recalling a ruse Rosie used earlier; Elsa slaps JoJo, who admits he deserved it
  • Elsa and JoJo dance in the street as American soldiers drive past

Paradigm Charts Analysis

Film & Paradigm Analysis