ピクサーVSジブリ、どっちのレシピが好み? : パリジェンヌの東京映画レポート!

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コラム:パリジェンヌの東京映画レポート! - 第8回



Pixar vs Ghibli : the various recipes of dream production

Pixar Studio established itself as a leader in the world of animation movies, its successes following on : it released six movies after the creation of the Best Animation Film Oscar in 2001, all were prize-nominated and four won it. Hayao Miyazaki is not somebody who needs to be introduced: legendary Japanese filmmaker, famous mangaka and co-founder of Ghibli Studio, he is the one whose animation movies have an international popularity and make people dream of Japan all over the world. In the world of animated film, both are acknowledged masters. But are they comparable?

ピクサー初の3D作品「カールじいさんと空飛ぶ家」 ピクサー初の3D作品「カールじいさんと空飛ぶ家」

First, both apparently make movies for children, but the theaters are full with adults. It doesn’t (only) mean that adults deeply remain kids… Such movies also give a deeply thought representation of contemporary societies and mankind. The important place of women, simultaneously strong and weak, in Miyazayi’s movies made his friend Toshio Suzuki say he’s kind of a feminist. Miyazaki also belongs to the artists strongly influenced by the atomic bomb’s memory and wrenching weapons are recurrent in his work, likea denunciation. His characters often are morally ambiguous, nor totally good nor totally bad. For example, Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke is the perfect representation of the human eagerness for power, but she is also fair and nice when taking in lepers. At least, all Miyazaki’s movies show a heaven of peace, far from human civilization, in the supreme reign of wild nature. So he shows a lucid image of mankind and the dream of another world at the same time. Concerning Pixar, the atmosphere isn’t the same, but according its former artistic director John Lasseter, the movies focus on the personal development of their characters: the main character often ventures in the real world and the central aspect is the way he evolves.

The magic also have an important role in their movies. In the last Pixar film Up, the old Carl seems to live in the present America, but nobody is surprised to see his house flying thanks to balloons. And what about Toy Story and alive toys? In Miyazaki’s movies, it is more about traditional witchcraft: we’re used to see spirits, spells and talismans. A lot of magic items are drawn from Japanese believes and mythology: in Spirited Away, Chihiro can see dozens of mythological creatures, spirits, Yôkai…

ベルリンで金熊、アカデミーでオスカーを獲得した「千と千尋の神隠し」 ベルリンで金熊、アカデミーでオスカーを獲得した「千と千尋の神隠し」 (C)2001 二馬力・TGNDDTM

What about the technical aspect, the art of animation? Except for characters, who are voluntarily caricatured, Pixar’s drawings often are realistic, insomuch that we sometimes can hardly distinguish drawn landscape from photographs. On the contrary, Miyazaki gives the priority to traditional art: handmade drawing, paintbrushes, ink. Even he often balances digital and traditional technique, he still creates 2D movies whose pictures’ lines are obvious and contribute to their specific atmosphere. On the contrary, Up is the first 3D movie of Pixar and the studio will keep on improving this new technique.

At least, the music. Oddly enough, animation movies are not only a visual art and the music widely contributes to the pictures’ beauty. Miyazaki movies’ music is now systematically composed by Joe Hisaishi and his symphonic style has become one of their typical characteristics. As a pianist and a brilliant conductor, Hisaishi even gives concerts of pieces composed for Miyazaki. Pixar also have its regular pianist-composer, a rocker and jazzman called Randy Newman who composed the most famous airs of Pixar movies. A different inspiration, another style, but the same success with the public.

Thus, here are two recipes, with quite similar ingredients but for different results and tastes. However, they have one thing on common: both are worth sampling and savouring.