Saturday, August 12, 2006

God bless film 4

Thanks to the magnanimity of Film4 in making themselves a free digital channel, I have now seen all the major Studio Ghibli movies except Nausicaa (which I'll catch next week). I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite although I've just watched My Neighbour Totoro with Molly, my daughter, and she sat through the film without hiding behind the sofa and appeared to love every minute, so that's a possibility.

Miyazaki's work seems to bear up well to the oft mentioned Disney comparison in terms of quality of animation, but it lacks the emotionally scarring material that makes Disney so Disney. I would happily let Molly watch Princess Mononoke with me, with all it's blood and monsters, but I'd be far less willing to let her watch Disney's Pinnochio, images from which still turn up in my nightmares from time to time. Even the darkest moments of Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke seem positive compared to the soul numbingly distressing key moments in most of the classic Disney movies. Disney's greatest skill in the earlier movies was to be able to create an air of menace and fear that would be carried beyond the watching of the film and go with you into the world outside. The Ghibli movies on the other hand have generally left me carrying away a warm feeling towards the rest of humanity that lasts well past the initial viewing of the film.

Plus Totoro is just so cute/ugly.

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