Interest Ghibli Versus Pixar in British Press
by Andrew Osmond
With Studio Ghibli's Arrietty (pictured right) scheduled for U.K. cinema release on Friday July 29, a pair of articles have appeared contrasting Studio Ghibli with Pixar. Pixar's film Cars 2 (pictured left) opened in Britain yesterday. The two studios have a long association, due to the friendship between Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter, and illustrated in the Totoro cameo in Pixar's film Toy Story 3.
One article appeared in this week's London edition of the magazine Time Out and has now been put on its website. Two of the magazine's film critics, Tom Huddleston and David Jenkins, argue the case for Pixar and Ghibli respectively. Huddleston argues that Pixar has the edge because of its "dynamism and expressiveness," its mastery of comedy and the "depth and believability" of its characters. Jenkins argues that Ghibli is greater because of its "subtle meaningful subtexts" and "thematic richness," with My Neighbor Totoro standing in the world cinema tradition of Abbas Kiarostami and Vittorio De Sica.
A week before, The Guardian newspaper ran an article by Steve Rose, contrasting the female characters in Ghibli films against those in Pixar and other Hollywood animated films. Rose argues that, " At best, Pixar's females are second billing (...); at worst they're token love-interests, stay-at-home mums and other stereotypes bent on spoiling the boys' party." In contrast, the heroines created by Hayao Miyazaki "are adventurous and active, but also compassionate, communicative, pacifist and virtuous." The article also includes some comments by the British anime expert, Helen McCarthy, author of the book Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation.
Image © 2010 GNDHDDTWArrietty, © 2011 Disney/Pixar
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