other authors to compare to DWJ

Tanaquil2 at aol.com Tanaquil2 at aol.com
Tue Aug 31 06:06:58 EDT 1999


In a message dated 8/31/99 5:24:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
villawood at hotmail.com writes:
 
 
>Tonari no Totoro (English: My Neighbour Totoro) Two sisters in rural Japan 
>discover that they can see the forest spirits- Totoros that live there.

        Oh!  I LOVE this movie!  It's available in the US dubbed into 
English, and (surprisingly) the dubbing isn't too bad.  But the story, the 
art work, everything is wonderful.  I had no idea there were more works 
available from this animator.  Yay!

>I don't know if this counts as an "author" but I can recommend the Japanese 
>animator Hayao Miyazaki.
>What makes him good is the individuality of his imagination, something he 
>shares with DWJ. He doesn't "set" himself in any one period or series, but 
>just imagines stories that seem to cross between fantasy and science fiction 
>and history. He is also a creator of "Children's" animation whose work 
>appeals to adults because of its quality and the seriousness of the themes 
>he deals with. He touches on themes of the environment, the futility of war, 
>and personal responsibility and freedom. 

        I agree with you.  I would never have thought to link Miyazaki and 
DWJ together, but they really do compare well with each other.


>Interestingly (compared to DWJ) his 
>main characters are almost always girls. When asked why he said that female 
>heroes where more interesting and multifaceted than if a predictable male 
>hero was in the same role.

        I find this so cool.  The lack of female protagonists in books and, 
even more, in movies really bothers me.  Half the world's population (what is 
that? 3.5 billion people?) are barely represented.  The wrongness of that is 
beyond any words I can come up with to describe it.  I find 
it...well..thrilling, I suppose, to hear an artist, someone who is being 
heard, turning this around so that it becomes a benefit from an artistic 
standpoint.  Turning something negative to his (and our) advantage.  I like 
too what it says about how our consciousness may be changing when it comes to 
defining what heroes look like.  Yay!  'Fire and Hemlock' revisited!
        This is one of the few movies I was able to wholeheartedly recommend 
for my daughter, without having to worry about any false values she was being 
force-fed subliminally.  In "My Neighbor Totoro" at least (which is all I'm 
familiar with at this point) there's no racism; no sexism; no 'girls having 
to take a back-seat' while the boys get to take all the risks, make all the 
decisions, and have all the fun; no violence, though plenty of drama.  It's 
the children's story from start to finish. Plus there's the all-important (to 
me) linking of the magical and the real worlds.  Way cool movie!

 
>Tenkuu Shiro no Rapyuta (English: Castle in the Sky)Two children with a 
>mysterious stone search for a legendary fortress in the sky while pursued by 
>a gang of sky pirates and the military forces of a sinister government 
>official, both of whom want the stone for themselves.

>Majou no Takkyuubin (English: Kiki's delivery service)A young witch leaves 
>home and travels to a far away city. To support herself she starts a 
>business delivering packages by broomstick. This gets her into more trouble 
>than she expects.

        I haven't seen these, but then again, I didn't know they were there 
to be seen!  I will try and track them down.  Thanks for this post, Paul!

        Max
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