lmao like the only time i EVER see hard disney fans even mention ghibli and miyazaki in comparison to disney films is in light of disney’s own mistakes and laziness like damn y’all need to calm down
lemme teach you a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ about stylistic choices in animation and sheer laziness
STYLISTIC choices is about having the full capability of creating characters separate from the previous protagonists while at the same time tying them to the studio that produced them.
And that’s not even scratching the surface.
Considering that a good portion of Ghibli’s library consists of LEAD FEMALE PROTAGONISTS who are usually very young, they need to find a set balance between recognizable and unique.
Ghibli was founded on traditional art and the studio still holds many of those values with it. This is of course including hand-drawn animation in which there is no single model, only the same character drawn over and over again. Is this about CGI vs traditional? No, both can and have provided beautiful films and scenes but it’s not about which one deserves more recognition. It’s about the methods used and how the choices for each one vary. I only bring up the animation methods because it’s part of the reason as to WHY these characters are so simplistic in design.
Still though, they need each lead character to stick to the Ghibli/Miyazaki style to a certain extent. They need to share certain qualities to make them fall in line with the rest of Ghibli’s library.
I mean, they have their differences but they’re obviously Ghibli characters so okay they all have relatively small eyebrows (though considering that they are Japanese that ties in with their ethnicity but OKAY moving on), they all have the eye highlight thing going on, and they all have very non-pronounced noses. I suppose yeah those are all the same. They do shift but those characteristics are roughly the same.
Still though, that isn’t a problem nor is it blatant same-facing. All LAIKA characters have skewed noses, all Dreamworks characters have thin noses, and all Aardman characters have bulgy eyes. Does that mean they’re same-facing? No. It means they’re sticking to stylistic choices to keep themselves separate from the competition.
Don Bluth MADE the choice to stick to a style closely resembling Disney. You know what happened? A whole generation grew up thinking that Anastasia and Thumbelina were both DISNEY films, not Bluth and Fox animation.
There’s a reason why studios tend to go for their own set style.
But hey! Want even more evidence that it’s a stylistic choice?
Because THE VERY SAME CHOICES CAN BE SAID FOR THE DUDES
Save for Haku because he’s a fuckin’ dragon.
While gender is never really brought up in Ghibli films, masculinity and femininity are both neutral here, it’s safe to say that their designs and treatment are both equal. Ghibli isn’t out to make exclusively beautiful/handsome characters, they make them as simple as possible to keep them relatable and much more easier to manage.
The difference here is that Disney has always set out to make their MALES different while sticking their females to the same “doe eyed, small nose, thin lips” ideal. Yes, there is a set Disney style and it has always focused on those features and that necessarily isn’t a bad thing. It’s the Disney style. HOWEVER it seems to only apply to their females. Even worse is their marketing of said females.
GOTTA KEEP THEM GURLS PURTY
The Disney style has shifted from time to time and it shows evidence that it CAN include more diverse female designs. Both Kida and Calhoun are wonderful examples of this. It’s not as if Disney hasn’t evolved or changed their views on female characters to a certain extent. Unfortunately, said shifts haven’t always worked out in our favor or headed in the right direction. It wasn’t until Tangled that Disney came out with it’s true “get richer quicker” scheme with their female leads.
watch as i shift into MAXIMUM PUNZEL-DRIVE
As of late it’s Disney’s sheer laziness when it comes to female design and their own avarice that has caused SUUUUCH a dramatic shift in how fans are taking the Disney style now. When Ghibli audiences and fans never look at a new movie and go “oh it’s Chihiro but tiny” or “oh it’s Chihiro but on a broom.” That is the set style, not a lazy copy-paste.
But hey, let’s bring in OTHER females to see how this works out. I mean, the Ghibli style is prevalent to ALL of their characters so surely they all the parents look exactly like their children.
Let’s look at these lovely lady leads and compare them to their parents.
Congrats, kids, you’re all adopted!
WEIRDLY ENOUGH all of the characters and their parents (if they have any) share same characteristics while at the same time remaining completely unique to each other. It’s almost as if they also take after their father and/or previous generations of their familly. Haha, genetics!
But okay, let’s be a little more fair with Disney.
Let’s look at two families with two daughters.
Mitosis or go home
There is having stylistic choices and there is being lazy.
There is creating a character with similarities to their parent and there is making a recolor of your lead character.
There is creating simple designs for a traditionally animated film and there is reusing the same model because it worked so well the first time.
There is being a small Tokyo-based studio with 300 employees and there is being a large American animation studio with 800+ employees.
THAT is why no one ever complains about Ghibli’s approach to character design and THAT is why Disney doesn’t even come close to Miyazaki.
Let’s finish this off with some MORE wonderful Ghibli characters (most of which being my personal favorites so they belong on here too.)
Now go watch more Ghibli.