Hey, it's me Jamie again! I love animation and I've recently watched a lot of the Studio Ghibli movies, so this has post idea has been at the forefront of my mind the past few weeks (thank you to James, who helped me discover the company and get into it!) Every once and awhile there's enough time for a double feature, so that's what this list is for. Five sets of movies I would watch together on a lazy day.
Before we begin I did want to say one thing: It would be very easy to write a post all about comparing the big names in animation; Disney vs Dreamworks, Dreamworks Vs Pixar, and Ghibli Vs Disney. I mean, we've all done it at some point I'm sure. However, I sometimes get tired of having to pick sides. All the big names have good and not-so-good films, so do I have to pick who I think is best or who I like best every time I discover a new studio?! No, I don't. So, today I wanted give you five Studio Ghibli films paired to Disney films and not pit them against each other. If you're here for me to say which is better, you're not going to find that here today.
Book Adaption: Ponyo and The Little Mermaid
I find it fascinating that these two movies are different versions of the same story. They're both very different from each other, but I find that makes it more interesting to compare. The Little Mermaid delivers a conflict driven plot while Ponyo is almost a bit more of a slice-of-life with the fantasy element, they both give interesting renditions of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. Between the two, I do personally prefer Ponyo as the animation was crazy gorgeous in that movie, but The Little Mermaid features Ursula the sea witch, who is among my top ten most favorite Disney villains of all time. (If you want, you can also call this Ocean Adventures and throw Finding Nemo into the mix if you really really want.)
The Whacky and Weird: Spirited Away and Alice in Wonderland
I feel as though being on drugs must be similar to living in one of these worlds. Personally, I didn't click with either of them, but when I was creating this post there was no way I wasn't going to pass up a chance to pair these two. Spirited Away was plain weird but in a intriguing sort of way, I'll admit. And it did win an Oscar. :) Alice in Wonderland was weird-borderline-creepy. But, I could totally see myself watching these on a funky day where they could be very complimentary. Some quick pros: they both feature female leads, never ending, interesting side-characters, and interesting fantasy worlds. So, not bad. Just weird.
Children's Adventures: Castle in the Sky and Peter Pan
For our little ones or siblings--or even just the child within us--I have a couple of great adventures here. Studio Ghibli's first film (if you're not counting Nausicaa) and Disney's magical Peter Pan delivers the youthful spirit of adventure in different ways that both work. Castle in the Sky has a more 'kiddy' feel than some of their other movies but it's a good, fun type of 'kiddy' feel--with airplanes, pirates and magic--it's one I wish I'd gotten to see growing up. Peter Pan has a more timeless feel to it but still about a few kids who's world just got a bit bigger, also with pirates and flying and magic. :) I would definitely watch these two with my seven year old brother sometime myself.
Teeny Tiny: The Secret World of Arrietty and A Bug's Life
I know, A Bug's Life is a Pixar movie, but how was I NOT going to pair these up?! Worlds we thought we already knew--ant hills and our own homes--are looked at from a completely different angle in these films! The Secret World of Arrietty was my first Studio Ghibli film and I absolutely loved it. It's not an adventure with an epic conclusion or anything, it simply makes a familiar world feel very magical and fascinating. And as to A Bug's Life; I'm one of the people of thinks A Bug's Life is underrated. It delivers miniature adventurers on a grand scale, even if the formula has become overused. I just really like the perspective of the world we're given in both these films quite a lot.
Heart-Tuggingly Timeless: My Neighbor Totoro and Bambi
Honestly, there are few animated films that can match what is My Neighbor Totoro, with one of the most perfect displays of sisterhood that I have ever seen in film and the simple magic of childhood. However the same could be said for Bambi, with it's steady gaze over the forest's most dearest creatures and their lives growing up. Both are tenderhearted tales, filled with genuine "my heart is smiling!" moments and beautiful animation that really help set their worlds up on two strong feet. Don't get me wrong, they're very different from each other; but they both deliver steady, timeless storytelling that should live on for ages to come.
I love animation dearly; I didn't get to grow up with very much of it, so I'm still trying to get my fill even now! If you've reached the end of this post, you probably like animation too! You can get to know me better over at my blog Through Two Blue Eyes sometime if you'd like. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time!
Thanks Jamie for another wonderful guest post!