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Disney (not Pixar) Vs Studio Ghibli

Updated on October 2, 2018
Disney (Not Pixar) battles the smaller Studio Ghibli.
Disney (Not Pixar) battles the smaller Studio Ghibli.

The greatness of Disney is something to admire. They’re almost in everything now, from TV shows to Games. There’s not really a place to go where you can’t find something associated with Disney. The empire is huge and Studio Ghibli is very small. Though I’m not trying to debate everything Disney. This match-up only involves both Studio’s animation movies. Disney has a great lineup and is almost perfect. Studio Ghibli, on the other hand, has no movie that’s bad. Disney’s lineup might be “almost perfect”, but there are a few bumps along the way. Of course, Disney’s lineup is a lot bigger than that of Studio Ghibli. So I’m going to pick the top five movies from each studio and have them duel it out to the death…hypothetically speaking of course (these are mainly kids movies mind you). The duel will determine which movie studio is the victor.

Rules

To be far to each studio, the overall score is determined by only the movies mentioned here and not the whole collection of each studio. I will add up the total amount of scores and divide by ten. Also a note. The only movies I'm going to be picking from Disney's lineup is movies that came directly from their studio. Sorry Pixar, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, etc. You do not count in this. Alright let's begin.

First Match-up

Spirited Away Vs. Lion King

Two heavyweights collide as Spirited Away takes on the Disney heavyweight Lion King. Lion King is beloved by many and should be. Spirited Away is no slouch and can it take down the king. The heavy favorite (Lion King) will take on stiffer competition than it thinks.

They both came out around my childhood and they're both a very special part of my childhood. These movies will go down in history as one of the best animated movies of all-time.

Spirited Away

Source

Background information.

Run-time: 2 hr 5 m

Release date: 2002

RT: 97%

IMDB: 8.6/10

Domestic Gross: $10,055,859

Foreign Gross: $264,869,236

Worldwide Gross: $274,925,095

Spirited Away is the highest grossing film in Japan.

Budget: $17,766,805

Fun Facts:

Hayao usually never has scripts for his movies. This was no exception. He didn't even know what the plot was when going into the movie.

Hayao did everything in this. Script, drawings, etc.

The river spirit was inspired by a time he worked on a local river that was as disgusting like the movies.

There are heavy examples of story lines and plots similar to Alice and Wonderland.


Studio Ghibli No. 1 Movie

1. Spirited Away

Spirited Away first squares off against what a lot of people think is the best animated movie of all time. Lions King is a classic movie that's been praised for years. Although, Spirited Away is the best animated movie of all time. It's actually in my top five best movies of time.

Story

I remember watching Spirited Away way back when it came out. I never went to see it in the theaters, but my mom had bought the DVD of it. It instantly drew me in with what seemed like an annoying character at first.

Chihiro is a young girl that's just been pulled away from her home. She now has to live in a new city that's very foreign to her. This alone would scare a ten-year-old. I was connected to this character at the time because I was around the same age and recently had moved to a new city. At first, I had no idea why she was being so "annoying". I grew tired of her and the consistent whining. Although, I can really relate to what she was going through. I myself was pulled away from friends in Florida to live in a strange world in Michigan. I looked back and acted in a similar way. Of course, I was more excited to move then Chihiro was, I was also scared of what was to come. Where my home was and how I would have to try and fit in at school. However, I was also a few years younger than Chihiro.

I watched as Chihiro travel into this world after her parents force her to come what seems like an abandoned theme park. Her life in the suddenly altered when her parents are turned into pigs. This sends her down a tale of heartbreak, friendship, and an adventure for all ages. The story drew me in instantly as you walk through Chihiro's experience with her in every step. You feel for her because she's doing it all on her own. The story is what draws you in. The spectacle is what keeps you engaged.

World

In every great movie, there's a sense that you are watching something that can be believable. This world that Hayao creates is as wonderful at the characters. It's set in an old style bathhouse. Yubaba runs a bathhouse while controlling everyone inside. She traps them by magically taking their name. The more your engrossed in the bathhouse, the more you start to forget, the more she controls you. This world is what would be a freighting place to many. It intrigues me with every sense as the environment is something spectacular.

It's like the great Forest Gump. The world is like a box of chocolate. Unlike movies these days, it's not predictable. You have no idea what this world is. Of course, some inspiration is pulled from religions and past experiences. Although, most the world isn't written in stone. There are spirits that pop in and out who are so fascinating and unique. As a child, I wanted to live there and even now I want to live there, but I won't become that child again.

Characters

Each character in this film doesn't really disappoint. The main characters are at first bad and obnoxious. Although, this was just at first when she had no development at all. The more Chihiro developments the more the movie exceeds and shows how strong Chihiro is. Then there are the spirits. Some representing human form and then those spirits on a much broader scale. They are seen as what they really are compared to the real world. Like a rattish spirit is shaped like a giant rattish.

They provide a sense of creativity. I just want to be in the world to just experience it. They all represent the mystery box the world creates. There's greedy, desire, etc. Even though they're characters, they serve asana ideology that's very interesting. Chihiro has to interact with these characters and we (audience) are along for the ride. We seem to be making the same decisions Chihiro is making. Some of those decisions aren't what we, as the audience, wouldn't have neccarliy done, but the development of that character is fascinating. She turns into a character we can both enjoy and root for.

Overall

Overall, Spirited Away succeeds because of the incredible imagination. The originality in the movie just completely engulfs you in this world. The audience believes that we're going along with the adventure with the main character. It's a wonderful beautiful tale that has a very simple premise. Girl gets sucked into a world she doesn't know, she transforms in front of our eyes, and an ending that leaves room for a sequel. Spirited Away is the best animation movie ever. It gives us a sense of our childhood and imagination.

Lion King

Source

Background

Run-time: 1h 29m

Release: 1994

RT: 91%

IMDB: 8.5/10

Domestic Gross: $422,783,777

Foreign Gross: $564,700,000

Worldwide Gross: $987,486,777

Budget: $45,000,000

Fun Facts

Lion King was also heavily influenced by the Bible.

All though Lion King was heavily influenced by pieces like Hamlet and the Bible. It was the first movie that wasn't a complete adaptation of something else and had an original script.

It's the highest grossing hand drawn animated movie of all-time. Fourth highest animated movie of all-time.

Sean Connery was considered to voice Mufasa.

Disney (Not Pixar) No. 1 Movie

1. Lion King.

Lion King is about a young cub that grows up to have to take back what's his. Like Spirited Away, our main protagonist goes on the adventure that creates great character development. We are treated with something that Spirited doesn't have. We literally see Simba grow up from that clumsy, awkward, heart-stricken, and young cub into a young adult. The process is fast, but you really see how his tragedy made him into what he is.

Story

From tragedy to triumph, Lion King succeeds on really connecting with our emotions. The death of Mufasa is one of the saddest moments in the history of film. The story allows us to be connected to Simba instantly because of the tragic experience he goes through. He's "reborn" when he's raised by his foster "pack". This sad little cub turns into a sarcastic rebellious teenager. It really is a great funny tale of a Lion that grows up to take down what many believe is "Hitler". Scar is Mufasa's brother and the author of his death.

Scar is regarded as Hitler because of the way he brainwashes the tribe into becoming the leader. He then uses that power to create an "army" to fight off everything in his path. Also, the march scene will almost convince anyone, as it was actually inspired by the Nazi's marches during WW2 (which the live-action film is idiotically leaving out). The once jealous brother turns into a stone-cold killer that uses fear to control his targets. This is where the story lacks in originality and the movie copies heavily off of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. I've never read the play for myself, but I did read the comparisons. It doesn't completely take every element from the play though. Although a good majority of the movie follows the same direction as Hamlet. The story then feels a little cliche at times, because it's the everyday "revenge" story. Although, the interesting take allows us to have fun with the movie, with laughs that would make a person's belly hurt.

World

The world of Lion King is something of a treat. We see what it would be like if we were apart of the tribe. One of the most iconic moments in movie history happens in the beginning moments. The Simba being raised into the are is an amazing vision of the life of a Lion. The Lions act ten times more human than any other Lion's before, but we never see humans in the first place. It's an interesting idea to imagine what this world really is. No existence of human life is seen in the film. This creates a thought bubble into how smart these Lion's really are.

This isn't the main focus. The environment between the different animals is a great twist. There's a community of animals that come together to produce a world we would love to live in. The movie then transforms into the world Scar wants it to be. It's frightening and interesting at the same time. This made the environment not so lovable anymore. Although, the story allows us to get connected to the world by attaching onto the character of Simba. Unlike Chihiro, we aren't ever pushed away from the character. The characters are always lovable, even down to the clumsy Simba.

Characters

This is the best part of the movie. There are no bad characters in this movie. Unlike Spirited Away, where there are characters that can get annoying after a while, Lion King has none. The characters are either likable or you like to hate them. Simba is a lovable cub that transforms into a smart Young Adult. It's one of the first YA cartoons and it brilliantly portrays it.

Scar is one of those characters that's really easy to hate. He's just one of those characters that simply is ruthless and absolutely doesn't care about his own family. He killed his brother, exiled his only nephew, and turned the tribe into a dictatorship. He's not a weak villain and you love to hate him.

The characters like Timon and Pumbaa bring a comic relief to the film and transform it into more of a comedy. They mold the character of Simba. He's transformed because of these two characters. We also can't talk about Lion King without Rafiki. The awkward and odd monkey that's hilarious as well. He's the one that raised Simba and he's the one that helps him get back his kingdom.

Overall

Overall, Lion King is the best Disney animated film to date. That's because of a world that never stops amazing, characters that make the world come together, a great story (even if it copies off of other stories), and always keeps the movie fun. The comic relief is fantastic and gives that pre-Pixar feel to it. This was before Disney bought Pixar and before Pixar made it's first full-length movie. It really does show what Pixar and Disney started to become and mold into. It still has the Disney musicals in it but was very similar to what Pixar is today. That makes Lion king an amazing movie. An slightly overrated movie, but great.

Category Rankings

Lion King vs. Spirited Away

Story

Spirited Away: 9.6/10

Lion King: 9.6/10

Tie

World

Spirited Away: 9.7/10

Lion King: 9.3/10

Winner

Characters

Spirited Away: 10/10

Lion King: 9.8/10

Winner:

Source

Verdict

Lion King is a great movie but nothing compares to Spirited Away. It has everything to love in a movie and I can't think of any animated movie that tops it.

With a score of 9.8 to 9.6. The winner is.

Spirited Way

Source

Awards for every movie

Title
Academy Awards
Golden Globes
BAFTA Awards
Grammy
Sprited Away
Won: Best Animated Feature
N/A
Nominated: Best Film not in the English Language
N/A
Lion King
Won: Best Music, Original Song
Won: Best original score
Nominated DVD
Won: Many categories

Second Match-up

Frozen vs. Howl's Moving Castle

A trend movie to hate and a movie that took its place. I remember back in middle school that Howl's moving castle was widely talked about and was also widely hated sometimes. At least in the scope of my city. They would say almost identical things about both movies. However, both movies are classics in their genre.

One of them was a huge part of my childhood that I didn't see until a little later. Frozen is a movie I like but didn't see until later too. However, they're both great movies that are both rated similar in my opinion.

Source

Background

Run-time: 1h 49m

Released: 2013

RT: 89%

IMDB: 7.6/10

Metacritic 74%

Domestic Gross: $400,738,009

Foreign Gross: $875,742,326

Worldwide Gross: $1,276,480,335

Budget: $150,000,000

Fun Facts

Around 50 people made the scene of Elsa building her ice palace and it took 30 hours for one frame to render.

To help create a bond between Elsa and Anna stronger, the creators went to a "Sister Summit".

The official crest of Arendelle is called a crocus.

Anna and Elsa weren't always meant to be sisters.

The creators have come out and stated that Tarzan is actually a sibling of Anna and Elsa

Disney has been trying to develop the Snow Queen for almost 70 years.


Disney (Not Pixar) No. 2 Movie

2. Frozen

Frozen is a movie that's one of the most overrated and underrated animated movies of all time. Some say it's ridiculously cliché. Others say the script isn't very strong. Some say it's one of the best animated movies ever and kids seem to adore the movie. Some even going as far as just watching the short that was inserted into 2015's Cinderella, and then bailing before the movie was done (personal story). However, both of these premises work in my eyes.

Frozen is a great movie that does a great job connecting with that younger audiences while entertaining the adult crowd. However, the movie isn't as great as people say. IIt's more of a solid film that is benefited off its characters and world-building to create a story that is prime for sequels.

Story

The Story of Frozen is very simple. There are some bad things that go down, someone tries to help, gets pushed away, helps anyways, bad guy tries to stop them, bad buy gets stopped, and then everyone lives happily ever after. Audiences haven't actually seen this since Tangled. It also doesn't show you the villain until closer to the end, which was refreshing. Also, the villain first consists of Elsa's powers and mind more than anything. The ending won't be spoiled but they do something at the end that really goes against the grain for a Disney film. Hint: it pushes past those gender stereotypes in most movies. It’s a great ending to the movie.

The story also allows the characters to blend well together. Some animated movies throw characters at you while connecting them in the most obvious plot convenient moments that push the story along. Example: Tangled. Tangled had Flynn stumble upon Rapunzel's castle by accident? Aladdin just so happened to run into Jasmine. There are many other examples of how people connect to each other by luck. This time is similar in a small portion. Anna and Kristoff sort of bump into each other, although they don't necessarily fall in love because she already has one at home. They do, however, need each other. Anna uses Kristoff as a tool to get to Elsa. The relationship of course turns into something more, but it starts off with two people that live separate lives. Kristoff doesn't even know anything about Anna. The concept is a new one from Disney. The overall story is lacking in parts of it but there are also great parts to be had.

World

Now, this is an interesting concept of Frozen. It seems to be a fantasy type movie set in only a couple of locations. There's trolls, witches, etc. Although you only see a small portion of the world. There are still endless possibilities out there for expansion. This could hold up possibilities for expansion into anything they want for future installments. Also Disney and Pixar have done done great lately with connecting their stories together. Apparently, Tarzan is Anna and Elsa's brother, so we could see the first mashup of two get movies. This would make the world great.

The biggest problem with the world just in the first film, is the universe being too small and making us wait for those eventual sequels. There’s great motivation, but it has no real desire to explain beyond a few miles. Frozen's world has the potential to be great and many scenarios could play out to be great. However, that's all it has for now.

Characters

This is where Frozen shines the most and is the reason it's so popular. Most movies have a bad character or characters that start off bad (even the amazing Spirited Away). This isn't bad like they're the villain, but just a boring, uninteresting, or simply annoying characters. Some might say Olaf is an "annoying" character. That's fine and all but I disagree. He's a lovable and fun character. He’s there for comic relief and to relate to the innocent kids. He's exactly what they are...silly. Innocence reflects silliness and vice versa. This is perfectly fine in a kid’s movie. The story needs someone to relate to kids and even if they're annoying, you still love them.

Some of the characters seem to be cliché but turn out to be different. A love story next between two characters that seem somewhat annoying turns into something different. Characters romanticize of each other changes. Character development is very key in the Character Anna, as she transforms from this cliché character into a strong independent woman. Elsa also has great character development as she changes from being scared to a queen that can rule a land.

Every character in Frozen has something for the story. Almost every character evolves somewhat throughout the story. They're all very likable and some don't have to show up until the movie is almost over. It shows the true testament of what those people at Disney can truly accomplish.

Overall

Frozen does have its flaws and people might hate it for that. However, it's a magnificent movie filled with adventure and mystery. There’s a lot to dislike for the movie and it does sometimes feel all too familiar. However, the greatness of Frozen is sometimes hidden beneath the surface and gives way to great adventure.

Source

Background

Released: 2004

Run-time: 1h 59m

RT: 87%

IMDB: 8.2/10

Metacritic 80%

Domestic Gross: $4,711,096

Foreign Gross: $230,473,014

Worldwide Gross: $235,184,110

Budget: $22,428,768

Fun Facts

Distributed by Disney Studios.

Christian Bale loved Spirited Away so much, that he wanted to voice any character in Howl's Moving Castle.

Bale was the voice of Howl himself.

Sophie's City was modeled after a real-life city.

Famous animation director Mamoru Hosoda was the first director of Howl's Moving Castle but decided to leave. Hayao Miyazaki then took over.

Studio Ghibli No. 2 Movie

2. Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle is a classic in the great library of Studio Ghibli. Like all Studio Ghibli films, it's the world and the story that really makes the film shine. It's an imaginative premise and the world is something to be desired. It takes you back to when you were a kid. However, this world is darker than movie Ghibli films and does have a lot of adult interactions that are fantastic story pieces. This world immerses you and surrounds you with great settings. The animation is breathless as well, as Hayao is a master at his craft.

HMC might not be popular among the American movie-going public, but it is truly a great film. Its world will engulf you, its story will keep you engaged, and characters will make you love them. It's truly a movie you'll have to see twice and three times, and you'll want to. It's one of the most underrated classics from the studio and isn't loved by many fans as well. I would like to argue that it's the second best from them and is actually one of the best animation movies of all-time. The heart of the movie and themes are what most would get attached to. There is beauty and grace in the film and truly one of the best films I've ever seen.

Story

The story is the main reason why I got hooked onto the movie early in the film. It takes place in a universe where one powerful nation is trying to take control of another powerful nation. They're at war with each other and Howl is stuck in-between the two. Madame Suliman is the queen of the one nation and is in control of Howl because of some debts. She is using him as a weapon for her army. Sophie is the main character in the movie and is just a girl that runs a shop. Her life is changed when a witch curses her to be an old lady. She now has to seek the help of witch or wizard to try to reverse the curse. Craziness ensues after that.

The story of Howl's moving castle is something to truly to look at and take notes. The movie itself is based off a book, although Hayoa makes the story his own spin on it like Spirited Away. The story allows these characters to playoff the world. For example, the interaction between Sophia and Howl allow these characters to do a couple of things. Once they interact with each other then they both grow with one another. They discover parts of the world that were absent from their lives. This also discovers something deep down in them they haven't discovered yet deep down in each other. The story pushes along the character development in the movie and creates a great atmosphere. The story also doesn't feel like its bonging down the characters. Of course, they will travel in a line that the creators have created, but it doesn't feel that way when you watch it. It feels like an adventure to them as it is to the audience, and doesn't feel like they're trapped within prison walls.

World

The world is beautifully created and drawn. This world breads magic in every way. There are witches, wizards, demons, evil queens, etc. Very similar to Frozen, Howl's Moving Castle's world is breathtaking and the terrain has not been completely discovered. I wish Hayao would consider doing sequels because this definitely deserves and needs one. It is one of those great open worlds that could really create some exciting adventures. It can be easily expandable too. It's light on its feet in terms of creating new content for this universe.

That's why it has saddened me that Hayao had to retire from being a director (luckily he's come back for one more movie). It killed me inside to think that story arcs wouldn't be explored more with worlds that have ultimately gone into extinction. Although, people getting ahold of these worlds are something I envy. First-time people will experience a world like no other and is actually my favorite world out of any movie on this list. Its characters drive the story while the story is fueled by the world that that's been created. It's something like no other and will go down as one of the best-created worlds of all-time.

Characters

The Characters in HMC are great. There's a sense of kid like in our main protagonist Sophie. With this kid like persona, we as an audience feel kid-like as we explore the world she's exploring with a kid like perspective. Howl is the love interest in the film but never feels like he's the one being desired. Also, with the main protagonist being a girl, it's the female who's doing all the action in the story. Character development runs through character as she has to navigate this world with her being shy and being not that "heroic", but she eventually finds her fight and finally defeats the optical.

The best thing about the characters is that you can tell they're molded by their own world and by the story. They feel organic and don't ever come across as cookie-cutter versions of other beloved characters. The only major problem I have with Howl is that he's not emotional sometimes. It is hard to describe but he feels num throughout the film besides when he is hurt or vulnerable. The side characters also work well and don't ever distract you from the story like some other animated films do.

Overall

Howl's Moving Castle's story is something to be awed upon. Witches, wizards, curses, etc. aren't shown as a cliched version. They're given context through character development which is helped by the story. This creates a sense of adventure and realism to the film. This is especially true for the world that they've created. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary for the movie. Nothing seems to be "unrealistic" inside the world. This creates both a sense of adventure that doesn't overextend its boundaries. For these reasons, I would say this is Studio Ghibli's second best movie ever.

Category Rankings

Howl's Moving Castle vs. Frozen

World

Frozen: 9.5/10

Howl's Moving Castle: 9.8/10


Winner

Story

Frozen: 9/10

Howl's Moving Castle: 9.5/10

Winner

Characters

Frozen: 9.3/10

Howl's Moving Castle: 9.2/10

Winner

Verdict

Frozen is a cliched movie but does stand against the greats that Disney has to offer. However, Howl's Moving Castle's world and story are superior to that of Frozen's. This gives Howl's Moving Castle the ultimate edge.

With a score of 9.5 to 9.3. The winner is.

Winner

 
 
 
 
 
Title
Academy Awards
Golden Globes
BAFTA Awards
Grammy
Howl's Moving Castle
Nominated: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
N/A
N/A
N/A
Frozen
Won: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year and best Original Song
Won: Best Animated Film Nominated: Best Original Song
Won: Kids Vote - Feature Film and Best Animated Film Nominated: Best Feature Film
Won: Best Song Written for Visual Media and Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media Nominated: Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Frozen Trailer

Howl's Moving Castle Trailer

Third match-up

Grave of the Fireflies Vs Aladin

This match-up is between another two powerhouses from both of the studios. Both are better in the context of overall quality but not as entertaining as the number 2 films. They're also not as magical as the other two which ultimately lowers their scores. However, these two films are respected by many and can down in history as one of the best animation movies of all-time.

Background

Run-time: 1h 30m

Released: 1988

RT: 97%

IMDB: 8.5/10

Metacritic N/A

Domestic Gross: N/A

Foreign Gross: $5,000,000

Worldwide Gross: $5,000,000

Budget: $3,700,000

Fun Facts

Distributed by Disney Studios.

Christian Bale loved Spirited Away so much, that he wanted to voice any character in Howl's Moving Castle.

Bale was the voice of Howl himself.

Sophie's City was modeled after a real-life city.

Famous animation director Mamoru Hosoda was the first director of Howl's Moving Castle but decided to leave. Hayao Miyazaki then took over.

Studio Ghibli No. 3 Movie

3. Grave of the Fireflies

Coming in at number 3 is one most heart-retching movie in the Studio Ghibli lineup. It's actually the most emotional animation movie I've ever seen. It tugs at the heart-strings in more than just one way. This is by introducing characters, which are likable and a story that moves you. These characters are introduced to you and then taken away from you. You're rooting for these people the whole time, and the story allows for this connection. Grave of the Fireflies might not be the most entertaining movie around, but it is a solid movie overall. It blends these two concepts with great imagery, hardships, struggles, emotions, etc.

It is by far the most human connection movie out of the Studio's collection and it really shows the true horrors of the humanity's war against each other. The story movies along at a slow rate, but allows for the characters to shine through. The world itself might not be anything special, but the other aspects certainly help raise this movie up as one of the best that animation has to offer.

Characters

Like I stated before, the characters are the main focus of the film. The movie follows the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko as they try to survive WW2 torn Japan. The anti-war theme plays well with the characters, as you don't want these characters to die. The characters themselves are lovable, innocent and even downright valuable. Their hardship is shared with the audiences and even the audience feels it as they root for the main characters to pull through. It is profoundly heart-breaking and is captured in these characters wrong and right actions.

They also have depth with all the tragedy that's folding around them and creates a rift in the relationships of people they know and love. The tragedy is captured beautifully, as the animation is perfect. The animation style is interesting and captures every little detail of the movie's protagonists. Grave of the Fireflies isn't flashy in any way and has a purpose in its storytelling and it's powerful and moving.

World

The world of Grave of the Fireflies isn't in a distant land or up in the clouds. It's grounded in reality and is set in real life. However, it is set back in a time where we tried to kill each other for power and control. The world doesn't try to do too much and sometimes it will seem boring at times. There's no "cool" things explore, plains to roam in, or even lands to discover. It's grounded in one city and follows one family as they to survive this world they live in. The world does enough to enlighten your senses, without making it too unbelievable. Howl's Moving Castle can have worlds that are unbelievable and fantasy to the eyes of the movie public. However, the story Grave of the Fireflies keeps the audience grounded. Though this world shows how humans will each other apart and have no remorse for those they attack.

The surroundings the characters have to navigate through won't blow-up your mind. The world isn't all that daunting either. I'm not saying that the world isn't dangerous, its is clearly. Though the characters make the world worse and you sympathize with them,, but also blame them for getting themselves in the situations that they are in. All-in-all, Grave of the Fireflies world is freighting and creates a eerie version of mankind.

Story

The story of Grave of the Fireflies is a strong suit and probably the best category for this film. It creates a sense of danger. Even though there's not a boss or huge threat, there's a huge chance of death and the movie plays off of this perfectly. When I say there's no real threat, I mean there no world-ending threat that's really powerful. Although the characters are thrown into this situation where they either learn how to survive or they die. In that aspect, the tension and suspense are kicked up and brought to the audience in a very devastating way.

The story creates this tense and suspense by never giving the characters a chance. They're always in danger and can never get a break. This is especially true towards the end of the film when the conclusion will hit you like a hundred-mile-per-hour fastball to the gut. It's everything this movie was foreshadowing to be and it shows it with a very powerful and moving ending that will surely shock those who aren't ready for it.

Overall

Grave of the Fireflies might not be the most entertaining movie out there and the sad nature of the film might turn people off of it. Though I hope people see it and see the devastation humans can afflict on each other. How people in need will be shunned and those in need will be abandoned. This sad tale is one of the most perfectly crafted movies of all-time and leaves a lasting impact on those who come across it.

Source

Run-Time: 1h 31m

Released: 1992

RT: 94%

IMDB: 8/10

Metacritic 86%

Domestic Gross: $217,350,219

Foreign Gross: $286,700,000

Worldwide Gross: $504,050,219

Budget: $28,000,000

Fun Facts

To get Robin Williams to join on, they actually animated the genie to do Robin Williams skits.

They animated Aladdin's looks off of Tom Cruise.

Steve from Full House voices Aladdin.

A fan theory is quite try as Aladdin takes places in the far future and not the past.

Disney (Not Pixar) No. 3 Movie

3. Aladdin

The third best movie in Disney's history could be considered its most racist and stereotypical movie of all-time. However, people choose to find race-related issues in every. Aladdin is considered a classic by many and one of Robin Williams best characters. Aladdin was a film I watched plenty of time as a kid (as it came out when I was born). One of my fondest memories was watching this with my family.

This timeless classic has the feels, the laughs, and the characters that you want and expects out of this animation giant. The world, story, and characters are amazing. It also boasts one of the more "racist" elements of Disney but with a somewhat new spin to it. However, Aladdin is still adored by fans to this day because of it simply being an amazing movie. Funny as any one of Disney's movies and should be put on the pedestal with all the rest. I haven't seen the film in quite some time, but I do remember loving the movie every time I saw it as a kid.

Story

The story to Aladdin is an interesting one. It has its moments of greatness but the overall story is quite bland. Nothing really happens that we haven't seen before. This is probably one of the weaker ones because it's quite bland. It doesn't create the necessary pop the other ones do. Frozen has a cliched story but it implements new ideas into the story. What Aladdin relies on is those characters and world to make the story interesting but it just doesn't do it that well. How many times do we have two rebel characters with one of them being rich and the other being poor? They then rebel against the society, they find a way to fall in love with one another but an outside force is trying to stop them. They then fight against that force and win it in the end. It's very common in Disney films and it is very tiring after a while. The story also drags a lot and continues to focus on the relationship. It has its interesting moments in the story but everything has been done in films before. The best aspect isn't the story but the story does hold up enough not to make the film a bore.

World

Most movies in the cannon or Disney has an interesting world. This is no exception. There are Genies, sorcerers, a flying carpet, and a lot more. A lot of what Disney does is give you characters that can change the world around them. The world in Aladdin is interesting in the fact that it feels like real life, with these elements spread throughout. It feels like a world like Aladdin being real, when obviously it is not. The world is a step down from most Disney films because it's not as imaginative as say a Studio Ghibli movie. What makes this one-the-greats wasn't the World itself but the comedy. The world does play off a little bit but overall the characters outshine the world. That is okay.

Characters

Now every character in the film is outshined by Robin Williams' Genie, but every character in the film has something to them...maybe not the "king". The king is the father of Jasmine. Jasmine is the rebel character like almost every Disney film has. The king, however, is this bumbling idiot that's a little lovable. A lot of the times his bumbling personality is more like stupidity and ignorance, rather than a lovable character.

There are really only a handful of main characters, four to be exact, that contribute to the overall story. The good thing about this is the fact that the audience can get closer to the characters. There isn't an overabundance of them, so you don't have to get connected to them. Movies like frozen have a lot of characters to try and get connected to. Aladdin trims down the characters and allows each one to get as much screen time as the main character. It's an interesting ploy that Disney movies sometimes try and do. Also, did I stress Robing Williams was amazing?

Overall

The film is funny with characters that are a riot. There's elements of the film like the world that do work really well and are remarkably better than Grave of the fireflies. The story is where the film lacks and doesn't quite live up to most of Disney's films. This is especially true for Grave of the Fireflies, which has the best story out of any Studio Ghibli film. In comparison, Aladdin lacks in that aspect and makes the film less of a standout. However, the world and characters make the film definitely watchable and allow the film to flourish with some short comings.

Category Rankings

Aladdin vs. Grave of the Fireflies

Story

Grave of the Fireflies: 10/10

Aladdin: 8/10

Winner

World

Grave of the Fireflies: 9/10

Aladdin: 9/10

Winner

Characters

Grave for the fireflies: 9/10

Aladdin: 9.6/10

Winner

Verdict

Aladdin has its moments of greatness with its characters that are very well put together and have some depth even if some of there attributes are cliche. The genie steals the show and makes the film that much better. However, with the story lacking and Grave of the Fireflies having the best story out of the Studio Ghibli cannon, the ultimate edge goes to Grave of the Fireflies.

With a score of 9.3 to 8.9. The winner is.

Grave of the Fireflies

Movie
Academy Awards
Golden Globes
Grave of the Fireflies
N/A
N/A
Aladdin
Won: Best original song and Best original score
Won: Best Original Song and Best Original Score
 
 
 

https://www.amazon.com/Grave-Fireflies-Blu-ray-Ayano-Shiraishi/dp/B008XEZXRA

Fourth Match-up

Moana vs. Castle in the Sky

Background

Run-Time: 1hr 53m

Released: 2016

RT: 96%

IMDB: 8.3/10

Metacritic 81%

Domestic Gross: $248,757,044

Foreign Gross: $394,574,067

Worldwide Gross: $643,331,111

Budget: $150,000,000

Fun Facts

The way Maui looks is actaully based off of the Rock's grandfather.

His tattoos are actually hand drawn.

The chicken has been classified as the "dumbest Disney character".

Moana's father is voiced by the same guy who played Jango Fett in Star Wars.

Disney (Not Pixar) No. 4 Movie

4. Moana

The fourth best Disney animated film of all-time is another controversial film. People think that the best film from Disney in 2016 was clearly Zootopia. However, I would disagree. The best Disney film of 2016 to me was Moana. It had the heart as older Disney classics like Lions King and Beauty and the beast with the comedic edge of newer Pixar films. It's very well made and has one of the best songs ever by Disney. The film also has a main antagonist that's very well round and very fun to watch. The world that these characters roam around is very interesting and has a lot to it. Like Frozen, there is so much potential in these world. It takes the characters along for a ride while interacting with more and more obstacles and characters. This makes for an awarding experience that gives the film an edge over other Disney classics.

Story

The story in Moana is a very simple one and that's the reason why a lot of people picked Zootopia over Moana. It's the basic rebel princess that's always wanted to explore something beyond her home. She gets out and defeats the thing that's been hurting her. In retrospect, it's very similar to Aladdin in that way. It has very similar story arcs as Aladdin and has very similar main characters that go along through the story. In this instance, this element of the film isn't that great. The good thing this has going for it is the interaction with the story in this new world with new characters. The world is a very interesting one and the story set in this world improves it. Although, the story doesn't do much in terms of bringing something new to the table.

The story overall does also feel very cliched and has a lot of narrative points that are in older stories like Aladdin, Frozen, etc. However, I wouldn't give one up on this one because the message at the end is quite remarkable. It feels very natural which was a plus in the film and the endings message of having to get someone to get past their hard shell for the good of the people was an interesting one. The twist at the end also propels its story past even Aladdin; giving the film a leg up past most cliched Disney storylines.

World

Now, this is where the movie flourishes. The world is very similar to Frozen. We have a lot of things that could live in this world but we only get a small glimpse into it. There are magical god-like creatures in the film. There's are creatures that they added into the film that represent a combination of Waterworld and Mad Max. It's quite interesting and these characters interacting in this world is brilliant. This world that these characters inhabit are quite amazing and it really shows the imagination of the Disney crew.

The world is so different and interesting that I would put it above both Frozen and Aladdin. The world in Lion King is more grounded and interesting. Although Moana has something the others don't. A demi-god that's living within the world that can react with the world in an interesting way. The god-like character in the film is able to physically keep up with antagonists in the film. This hasn't been done before and the side character is the one being the more powerful one. Genie has it but has restrictions that don't allow him to flourish like Maui (god-like creature) can. Maui has restrictions but overcomes them by getting his weapon back. No other Disney film on this list can say that. It has an easier time for the protagonist and doesn't allow for the struggles like other Disney films. However, it's a new take and I can actually respect that. Also, the people and culture they explore is really well done too.

Characters

Now the characters are good and bad. The two main characters Moana and Maui have interesting characteristics to them but they are very cliched. They've also been done before in a better way with better character development. Moana doesn't really change in the film. However, she does create change in Maui and that's great on its own. She does believe in herself more but she also did in the beginning. There's a small arc in the middle where she starts not believing in herself but sooner finds the courage. It has a very similar character arc as the Dark Knight film. Batman in the film doesn't believe in himself in the middle of the film but has the courage to understand that he's the one the city needs. Moana has a very similar message and has very similar messages o her Disney classics. However, Moana's affection and drive is the best in the film.

Most of the characters are interesting and have a lot of depth to them. However, they're not a fleshed out as I would hope. They have only a couple of arcs in the film. Again, that doesn't matter because they are so damn likable and they cause the story to rise above its cliches.

Overall

Moan is a great film. To be honest I would say it is a better film than Aladdin. However, the nostalgia I get as a kid watching Aladdin just can't be matched. Also, Moana came out in the time I was writing this and I still haven't seen the film more than just once. However, I would say that a second showing would still be as great as the first ones. I loved the songs, the characters, and the world. Even when the story lacks, the other two parts keep me engaged through some of the cliches. Most Disney films are cliched these days. However, Moana was able to rise above them with great characters exploring this new world.

Background

Released: 2016

Run-time: 2h 6m

RT: 95%

IMDB: 8.1/10

Metacritic 78%

Domestic Gross: $3,839,579

Foreign Gross: $157,000,000

Worldwide Gross: $160,839,579

Budget: N/A

Fun Facts

Miyazaki derived the name ‘Laputa’ from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

The Robots actually appeared in Lupin: The Third.

Luffy from one piece and Pazu share the same voice.

Fox squirrels from Nausicaä appear in Castle in the Sky.

Studio Ghibli No. 4 Movie

4. Castle in the Sky

Now Castle in the sky is a very strange experience for me. I loved it the first time I saw it but it doesn't have a great re-watch factor. Watching the film the second time wasn't that great. I'll have to continue to watch it again to see if I will like it the third time. However, the film is still great. I can still respect it as one of the greatest animated movies ever and one of the greatest Studio Ghibli films ever made. Every major aspect, that I've stated in this long page, is very great. The characters are very likable even if they are cliched. The world they travel through is very interesting and has a lot of depth to them. Also, the story is very interesting and has a lot to it that will get people confused. However, the film is incredible.

The Story

The story to me is one of the worst on this list. It's a pretty basic storyline about finding your way while taking on "the man" type characters. There are some interesting aspects of the storyline with the pirate characters that are interesting but the overall story isn't anything to write home about. There's actually not a lot to talk about and I'm glad the characters and world were able to overpower the story.

World

The world is something to adore. It has a very realistic tone to it while still having a very great fantasy aspect. The steampunk aspect of the film is very great as well. It combines this aspect with the fantasy aspect and it's wonderful. Hayao Miyazaki paints the world perfectly. He's able to paint both aspects (fantasy and steampunk) beautifully and craft this world that feels alive. It is always the strength of Miyazaki, his ability to create worlds that feel like we could really live in. Overall, this world is incredible and shows the strengths of visual storytelling.

Characters

The characters were one of the best in the franchise and they're really interesting. There are some characters that I haven't seen in a film ever. For example, the pirate captain is an interesting one because she's a tough lady but has heart of gold. However, they didn't play it off like she's this big teddy bear. She will help out her people at all costs. It was really well down and didn't feel like it was forced at all. There's a sense of fleshing out that goes along the film. There's really great character development in the film and it's almost like spirited away; where some characters go from being terrible to being really well. In the beginning, our two protagonists are whiny and annoying but quickly turn into people that do what they need to not let the bad guys win. Overall, the characters are the best part of the film, even the cliche ones.

Overall

Castle in the Sky is that film that doesn't get better per watch but it's still great enough as a film. I can watch this film many times and still enjoy it. The storyline might lack but the world and characters push the film past most shortcomings film. Also, the artwork is fantastic to look at. It's a great film and should be seen by people who love adventure films about growing up and finding a place in the world.

Category Rankings

Moana vs. Grave of the fireflies

Story

Moana: 8.8/10

Castle in the Sky: 8/10

Winner

The world

Moana: 8.7/10

Castle in the sky: 9.5/10

Winner

Characters

Moana: 9.4/10

Castle in the Sky: 9.4/10

Winer

Verdiict

This might have been the closest race and the most equal matchup. Both of these films to be are equally good with strengths in certain areas and really bad weaknesses in ours. Castle in the sky was the clear favorite coming in and should have taken it. However, with the characters of Moana and Castle in the Sky's weaker story, this match is tied.

With a score of 9 to 9 The winner is.

Movie
Academy Awards
 
Moana
Nominated: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures
 
Castle in the Sky
N/A
 
 
 
 

Fifth Match up

Beauty and the Beast vs. When Marnie was There.

This is a weird matchup because both of these films are actually my second factor in each of the respected studios. However, it was only recently I saw When Marnie Was
There and I went back to watch Beauty and the Beast again. These two powerhouse films are deserving of the Number 2 spot and the scores will reflect that aspect.

Background information

Run-time: 1h 32m

Release date: 1991

RT: 94%

IMDB: 8/10

Domestic Gross: $218,967,620

Foreign Gross: $206,000,000

Worldwide Gross: $424,967,620

Budget: $25 million

Fun Facts:

The first attempt was in the 1930s and then again in the 1950s, but gave up because the writers said the story was too challenging to adapt.

Beauty and the Beast was the work of 600 Disney animators and artists

Belle is the oldest Disney princess

It took only one take for Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts) to record the movie's titular song, "Beauty and the Beast."

Disney (Not Pixar) No. 5 Movie

5. Beauty in the Beast

Beauty and the Beast might go down as one of the best films in general. The concept of the film is very unique even though the main story isn't. (Stockholm syndrome with "the tale as old as time"). However, the film blends a unique approach to this original tale by making it animated. At least that's how I see it. The film is groundbreaking because the animation allows for scenes that couldn't be replicated with CGI and makes the film even more magical than it was (and no the remake doesn't stack up at all). After watching the failed attempt at remaking this classic tale, I went back and appreciated the original just that much more. The songs are beautiful, the world is simple but very efficient, and the characters are a lot better in the original. Are there some negatives? Sure. But, the original Beauty in the Beast is a classic film.

The Story

The story is in one of the main songs. "A story as old as time", which makes it a classic story if not cliche sometimes. Don't hate me yet, the story is brilliant but it is set around a basic story. But, that's what makes it fantastic. The story allows for some cliche moments to shine as the concept of the Beast and the Beauty is almost perfect. The film's beauty shines some light into the darkness of the Beast character to create light within himself. Now, this concept has been done before but not as well done as this film. The story takes the best of storytelling and flips it on its ears with the love story coming from the princess saving the prince rather than the other way around. It's actually one of the first films that show the dynamic of the man and woman helping each other to complete or achieve a certain goal. It's quite brilliant.

World

This is definitely one of the simplest on this list by Disney. Disney films usually have worlds that are our own, but this is. They're not as dark as this one is or have the magical elements. They're also not as complex though. The dynamic of the witch cursing the king has been down before and the world itself isn't all to be desired. However, the world does propose this. In darkness can there be light or from darkness can one be changed towards the light. It's a brilliant tale not told often in a "kids" film. This world plays perfectly with that with imagery and world-building never seen in the film. At first, the world seems like everyday life until we get to the castle. The bending of the two worlds is brilliantly done. Once we go into the other world of the Beast, the film takes off and shows just how different this world is. Forgetting the old world to create something different changes it back to normal. It's a very interesting world with many possibilities for sequels that I wish we got (no I am not talking about any possible direct to DVD sequels).

Characters

The characters might be the best out of all of these Disney films too. Because the characters themselves aren't one-note characters besides maybe one, who is later killed off to service the story. From Belle to Mrs. Potts, each character has a unique thing about them and who changes throughout the film. There are no stagnant characters in the film besides the villain who is killed off as an almost nod to terrible characters. These characters are crazy original but they've got enough magic to completely steal whole scenes that they're in.

Overall

Beauty and the Beast is that film that completely took me by surprised the second time because it is so much better than the remake it isn't even funny. The original tale has such a warm story that the remake fails to do and shouldn't have been remade. This film will go down as one of the best because all three elements (character, story, and the world) are grade A material and they play off each other perfectly.

Run-time: 1h 43m

Release date: 2014

RT: 91%

IMDB: 7.8/10

Domestic Gross: $561,085

Foreign Gross: N/A

Worldwide Gross: N/A

Budget: N/A

Fun Facts:

It was the last produced film by Studio Ghibli for a while unite Hayoa brings out his film.

The director went on to create his own studio and director his first film in that studio called "Marry and the Witch's Flower" (not that great).

The first film to have a blonde female lead.

It was the third consecutive film in the Studio to be nominated for an Oscar.


Studio Ghibli No. 5 Movie

5. When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There is something I've only seen in the last year and I'm sad that I didn't get to see it in theaters. This film is so magical not in the world or even characters but the story is so sweet and sad that's it wonderful. It is hard to explain with words because the film's story is bittersweet while also allowing you to look at your own life in a beautiful way. This is was surprising for me because the film doesn't seem like it would tug at your heartstrings but it absolutely does. It's also a really smart film that deals with a lot of issues with getting old while keeping a hold of your youth. Also, there's a great transformation by our lead character that's one of the best I've ever seen. This film is one of the best animation films ever and one best Ghibli has to offer.

The Story

Now, the story is definitely its strongest out of the three. The story keeps you guessing from a narrative perspective by keeping information from you. You're thrown into scenarios that look and feel completely new and unique without any context. This helps with the surprise at the ending which I was actually caught off guard at how beautiful it was. This is all I will say about the story as I don't want to ruin it but I would highly recommend it.

World

The world is something to adore. It has a very realistic tone to it while still having a very great fantasy aspect. With no spoilers, the world is somewhat magical in one aspect but this is probably, besides Grave, the most realistic film on this list out of this studio. It has a ground world but it also has a lively one with many possibilities with what the world really is. They never example the rules of the world, which could definitely be a negative, but here, it's a fresh experience. There's a lot of twists and turns in the film with the audience questioning what's happening and what's going to happen next. It keeps you on your toes because you're not sure what this world consists of. It's a very interesting aspect of the film.

Characters

The characters are here to almost service the story. They're given a purpose and they execute their wants and desires to push along the film. Because they're not that well unique in the beginning, the film does suffer at the beginning of the film. However, by act 2 you're so invested in their changes, that you don't mind if the film had them cliches in the beginning. At the end of the film, it becomes apparent that they were written as cliches on purpose to show change and formation of their characters later in the film. The characters do take time to develop and are quite annoying, but like Spirited Away, they bloom wonderfully.

Overall

When Marnie Was There is a beautiful film with a story that's up there with Spirted Away. It's almost sad I didn't see this before because it's definitely not a film to wait on. If you haven't seen any Studio Ghibli film, I actually recommend watching this first. It has some of the magic of the other properties, but it also has all of the heart as a Ghibli film. It's also one of the more "normal" ones that you can dive in without feeling too overwelmed. Definitely one of their best.

Category Rankings

Beauty and the Beast vs. When Marnie Was There

World

When Marnie Was There: 9.6/10

Beauty and the Beast: 9.5/10

Winner

Story

When Marnie Was There: 9.9/10

Beauty and the Beast: 9.5/10

Winner

Characters

When Marnie Was There: 9.5/10

Beauty and the Beast: 9.8/10

Verdict

This was another close race and an equal matchup. Both of these films are equally good in their respected elements. However, there is a winner this time and that came down to the world of When Marnie Was There pushing it across the finish line ahead of Beauty and the Beast. Both should be considered epics in their own studios and timeless classics.

With a score of 9.7 to 9.6 the winner is.

Movie
Academy Awards
 
When Marnie Was There
Nominee Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
 
Beauty and The Beast
Winner: Best Music, Original Song, Best Music, Original Score, Nominee: Best Picture, Best Sound, 2 Best Original Song
 
 
 
 

Final Verdict

Well, that was exhausting. These two Studios deserve all the love they get towards them and they're definitely among the greats to ever step foot into the animation field. However, there has to be a winner and the ultimate decision I choose to push one studio over the other came down to the imagination. One studio had a slight advantage in the department, so with a score of 47.3 to 46.3 (9.5avg. to 9.25avg.), the winner is...

Who's the better studio?

See results

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