- Sunday, 18 May 2014 -

Studio Ghibli Vs. Disney

Hello my lovelies! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend soaking up some glorious rays! Today's post is a bit of a weird one as I ponder the rivalry between two renowned animation companies, dominating both eastern and western culture: Disney and Studio Ghibli. 


I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that Disney was an integral part of my childhood, with the ocean of merchandise available and annoyingly addictive songs, it's immensely difficult to avoid the  phenomenon. I grew up whistling while I work and actively practising the concept of hakuna matata, Disney films were truly the greatest form of escapism, leaving you all fuzzy and warm inside with a greater perception of humankind. As an only child, I completely immersed myself in Disney culture, religiously watching the films, plaguing my mum to bring me to the Disney store - it was a good life. To this day I enjoy the odd Disney marathon, chuckling at the simple humour, still enchanted by the rainbow of colours and characters.


Recently though, I succumbed to the cult surrounding two Disney films in particular: Tangled and Frozen. But this cult wasn't construed by the younger generation, oh no, it was people MY age who were fangirling over the films releases - and I'm inclined to agree with them! Over the past few years I've seen a steady decline in the popularity and success of Disney films (I think it all started with that atrocity Brother Bear...), but my faith in humanity has been restored once again by the loveable characters and witty storylines.


But enough about Disney, if it's artistic brilliance and character substance you want, then look no further than Studio Ghibli. I'll admit, I didn't get into Studio Ghibli until a few years ago when I caught sight of teenager sporting a huge grey backpack that looked sorta like a Pokemon. Curious by this cute yet foreign creature I went up to her and asked her what that character was, her simply answering "Totoro." And as they say my friends, the rest is history. Watching a Studio Ghibli film is like watching a beautiful painting or work of art in motion and what major difference I've found between their characters and the characters of Disney is that they showcase more of a personality. Disney usually classically portray a character as either good or evil whereas I've found that you actually get to know the individuals in a Studio Ghibli feature, you witness their joy and their plights. Therefore, I'd conclude that nostalgically, Disney feeds my inner child, whereas films like Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle may actually be more adult appropriate; having a bit more substance to them.



What Disney or Studio Ghibli films are your favourite?



  1. It's so hard to choose my favourite Disney film, I love different ones for separate reasons! And Studio Ghibli have so many beautiful films, I think my favourites are Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.

    Hannah
    x
    www.daintyandivory.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Picking your favourite Disney film is like asking what the meaning of life is, it's too difficult! I've personally always loved Lady and the Tramp because I'm a huge dog lover :) And I totally agree, Spirited Away is one of my faves too!

      Claire xo

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  2. I absoluetly love Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away etc. :D They are incredible :D xx

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    1. Have you ever seen Kiki's Delivery Service? It's brilliant as well, albeit not as "magical" as the other films but still a work of art :)

      Claire xo

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    1. Frozen is absolutely breathtaking BUT I actually think I prefer Tangled to it, simply because Tangled appears a bit more colourful in comparison :)

      Claire xo

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  4. In terms of Ghibli, Spirited Away will always be their masterpiece and the film that entranced me the most.

    I think the think with Ghibli is that it doesn't patronise its audience, it's unafraid to be still or silent and doesn't rely upon goof or songs. But Disney is a behemoth, it's hard for its films to be something other than merchandise opportunity driven money making machines.

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    1. I adore the two for entirely separate reasons - Disney is nostalgic and oddly feels like a parental; it's been there all my life, watching me grow up, soothing me when I'm sad and feeding my imagination. But I totally agree with you, that Disney is the dominant force and sometimes I fear that great pictures like Howls Moving Castle are overshadowed because of this. Being more mature now, I'm glad I can cast my own judgement over great works of art and truly appreciate the masterpieces that Studio Ghibli produces :)

      Claire xo

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  5. It's hard to say whether I think Disney is better that Studio Ghibli, or vice versa, both studios are masters of what they do - my comment really is ust to point out the Brother Bear is one of my boyfriends favourites!

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    1. They're two entirely separate entities, but I've always felt that Disney was for a younger generation whereas Ghibli was more focused on entertaining an older, more mature and understanding audience :) And ahhh I'm so sorry about that comment, I didn't mean to offend! I put it down to me growing up - I wasn't aware of all the new Disney releases so naturally I missed some out :)

      Claire xo

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  6. I think I'd be leaning towards Studio Ghibli simply for the gorgeous art style which I prefer over Disney! I have to say I haven't watched either Frozen or Tangled yet though so I havent seen what the hype is over those films! xx

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    1. I totally agree with you Katie! I think that Ghibli is more suitable for a more mature audience, primarily because of it's plot complexities and sometimes scary content (i.e. No Face in Spirited Away TERRIFIED me haha) and I'll be completely honest, I actually prefer Tangled to Frozen because, as ironic as this sounds, Frozen's artwork was quite cold and kinda depressed me, whereas Tangled is quite a colourful film and it's quite funny :)

      Claire xo

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  7. I love love love this post! I adore both Disney and Ghibli but I think you are right; I see Disney as my childhood love and Ghibli as my adult one. Although I am one of those fangirls over Frozen and Tangled haha :) Great post xxx

    www.dorkface.co.uk

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    1. Aw thank you so much sweetie! I think it's absolutely brilliant that Disney are finally targeting the older generation who grew up with their films, and in a way, giving something back! I'll always be a Disney fanatic but I'm so glad that there's the likes of Studio Ghibli out there to feed my more mature appetite :)

      Claire xo

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    1. Isn't horrible isn't it!? I've got so many memories attached to different films for different reasons - love how Disney does that :)

      Claire xo

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  9. This is so beautiful! For me they represent different periods of my life. I grew up with Disney then spent my teen years with Ghibli, now it's both! x

    Megan / pixiecrop.com

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    1. Awk thank you so much pretty lady! Your kind words mean a lot :) And yes, exactly! I'm so glad that growing up has offered us different opportunities to witness different works of wonder! But I do slightly think the tables are turning in terms of Disney audience, as I think they've finally realised that there is an older audience out there that they can appeal to too (this is after the great success of Frozen of course) :)

      Claire xo

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  10. I absolutly love Disney and Studio Ghibli. Favourites movies have gotta be Tangled, Howl's Moving Castle and Totoro. This took a lot of thinking! It's like asking what is the meaning of LIFE. Fantastic post :)

    www.ohabbyjane.blogspot.co.uk

    Abby x

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  11. Oh, I love both! It's hard to choose between the two because I do think they are so different. Disney does remind me of childhood, whereas Studio Ghibli reminds me more of my teenage years and that age. Spirited Away was the first that I ever watched (we actually watched it in a French lesson, in French!), and I was hooked from that moment onwards! My favourites have got to be Totoro and Howls Moving Castle! Disney favourites would be The Little Mermaid, Mulan, The Lion King... I loved Frozen and Tangled, but they're just not the same as the earlier Disney!
    I recently saw The Wind Rises, and that one definitely shows a big difference between Ghibli and Disney - it was really more of an adult film in my opinion.

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  12. Both please : )

    I'm MUCH less informed when it comes to Studio Ghibli, and have seen only one or two of them- so I will be checking out your recommendations!!

    When it comes to Disney, I too am a die hard fan, and equally agree that choosing a favourite is like choosing your favourite child! I gotta agree that Tangled is up there in my top ones, as is The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in The Stone and Pocahontas... No wait, and Alice in Wonderland... Oh and and and Robin Hood... Oh but also... (See, too difficult!)

    Gemma
    Faded Windmills

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  13. Oh My Goodness. Spirited Away is one of my favorites!!!!!!!!!! I love to watch it and I never get tired of it!
    Ponyo is also a fun movie to watch which is the type of movies as spirited away!
    http://www.jaseyjade.blogspot.com

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  14. Love this post! :) I really love both Disney and Ghibli. I watched Disney as a kid and loved Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas but there is something magical about the Ghibli films. Totoro is my favourite character, Whisperer of the Heart is my favourite film closely followed by Grave of the Fireflies and Howls Moving Castle. They pull me into another world in the way Disney films used to when I was a kid. But still, I shan't choose between them!

    Haaappy Spring!
    Hailes<3
    Hailes Hearts Fashion.

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