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The Heroine: A Comparative Study of Walt Disney and Hayao Miyazaki Jenna de Vries Advisors: Dr. Yoshiko Saito-Abbott Dr. Chikaomi Takahashi CSUMB – Spring 2014
Outline Significance of the Study Research Questions Review of Literature Research Method Research Findings and Summary Conclusion and Discussion Future Studies Bibliography Acknowledgements
Significance of the Study I have been always interested by the Western and Japanese perceptions on the portrayal of cartoon characters. Because of my desire of becoming an animator, I want to deepen my understanding in the reasons and the cultural and societal differences within Western animation and Japanese animation. Specifically from two of the most influential animators; Walt Disney in America and Hayao Miyazaki in Japan.
Research Questions 1. Where do the differences behind Hayao Miyazaki’s and Walt Disney’s heroine come from? 2. How do the heroine drawn by Miyazaki Hayao and Walt Disney influence today’s female? 3. What are the expectations for future heroines?
Review of Literature: Outline Biography ◦ Walt Disney ◦ Hayao Miyazaki The Heroines ◦ Walt Disney: Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora ◦ Hayao Miyazaki: Princess Mononoke, Nausicaä and Chihiro The Directors’ influence ◦ Walt Disney’s Heroine ◦ Hayao Miyazaki’s Heroine Comparative Traits between Walt’s Disney’s and Hayao Miyazaki’s Heroine
Biography： Walter Elias “Walt” Disney Dec. 5, 1901 -Dec. 15, 1966 Founder of The Walt Disney Company, An American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor and animator. Walt Disney has produced 576 animations He directed 111 animations. He was the original voice for Mickey Mouse. After 2 weeks of his 65 th birthday, he died from lung cancer
Biography -> Hayao Miyazaki January 5, 1941 Founder of Studio Ghibli, A Japanese storyboard artist, Editor, Director, Executive, Screenwriter, Animator Began his animation career in He has created 16 early works/ produced 9 films, directed 20 films. has also written for 22 films Retirement: 6, 2013 1963 He Sept.
The Heroines Snow White Cinderella Aurora Walt Disney Heroines Princess Mononoke - San Nausicaä Chihiro Hayao Miyazaki Heroines
Director’s influence on Heroines: Origin Inspired by: ◦ ◦ ◦ German & European Fairy tale (Brothers Grimm) ◦ French version of fairy tale characters ◦ Domestic and International folk stories, social customs, traditions and beliefs Inspired by: Grecian female Educational and Political views Japanese folklore Western Fairy tale (B&B) The image of women from mythology being the foundation of today’s image of women (Good Girls…; Davis 2006) (hayao miyazaki, Mc. Carthy; ANIME; Napier. S 1999) Walt Disney Heroine Hayao Miyazaki Heroine
Heroines: Ever-Changing image “Good” Behavior leads to “Rewards” Belief of mimicking the heroine leads to living the desired or same life Pre-determined roles of male and female in society (Good Girls; Davis 2006) Progress into advanced Technology(Technophilia) The Bewilderment of the unknown Transition of woman’s role into boy’s role Distinction between girl and boy energies/Evoke stereotypes Connection between girls and the spiritual Director’s views on society represented through films (T. A. M, Lamarre. T; ANIME, Napier. S 2009) Walt Disney Heroine Hayao Miyazaki Heroine
Influence on Viewers/Audience (Graphs/Statistics) Walt Disney (Princess’ Revenue) JAPN-TV Anime debut Ratings (Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke)
Comparative characteristics of the Heroine Passive Flawless in Beauty “Happy Endings” Dependent Patient Strong morals Timid Dream like-situations All in all: Unattainable Walt Disney Heroine Forceful/Active Flawed Skin/Ugly “Unfortunate Endings” Independent Impatient Weak morals Courageous Realistic likesituations All in all: Achievable Hayao Miyazaki Heroine
The Study: Research Method Participants and the Demographics 70 Participants 35 Japanese University Students 35 American University Students Ages 17 -36+ Research Instruments: ◦ Online survey Google Docs/Forms (English + Japanese)
Research Questions : 1. Where do the differences behind Hayao Miyazaki’s and Walt Disney’s heroine come from? 2. How do the heroine drawn by Miyazaki Hayao and Walt Disney influence today’s female? 3. What are the expectations for future heroines?
Research Question 1: 1. Where do the differences behind Hayao Miyazaki’s and Walt Disney’s heroine come from?
Walt Disney’s Origin of Success Why do you feel Walt Disney, the person, was so successful in his animations/creating his heroines? American Uni Student Japanese Uni Student to the needs or desires of the female’s relation that could not be achieved in real life. 23% to the possibility of adapting one’s life to the fictional character within the real world. Other to acknowledging positive feedback from the viewers in what kind of heroine was desired to the never ending challenges the females had encountered to the current social issues through a heroine 12% 6% 62% 23% 21% 8% 15% 5% 3% American students think Walt Disney was successful in his films due to making fantasies possible. On the other hand, Japanese students think he was successful by meeting the needs and desires that cannot be obtained in real life.
Hayao Miyazaki’s Origin of Success Why do you feel Hayao Miyzaki, the person, was so successful in his animations/creating his heroines? American Uni Student Japanese Uni Student to the current social issues through a heroine 50 % 18% to the never ending challenges the females had encountered 18% Other 9% to the needs or desires of the female’s relation that could not be achieved in real life. to acknowledging positive feedback from the viewers in what kind of heroine was desired 18% 10% to the possibility of adapting one’s life to the fictional character within the real world. 9% 0% 31% 15% 13% 10% Japanese students think he is successful by addressing the current social issues. American students think his success was achieved by associating the challenges that females encounter in the real world within his films.
Research Q 1 Summary Findings: Success of Walt Disney and Hayao Miyazaki rely on both cultural and social aspects. ◦ For the cultural influence, the people connect their culture to understand the media. Walt Disney had brought a world of fantasy that allows the viewers the desire to dream and leave the world of reality. Hayao Miyazaki expressed issues in society within his films, these issues are of the woman in particular.
Research Question 2: 2. How do the heroine drawn by Miyazaki Hayao and Walt Disney influence today’s female?
Reasons for watching Anime For what reasons do you watch anime/animation? American Uni Student Japanese Uni Student To have fun 76% 38% To de-stress/to relax/to relieve boredom To escape from reality To get inspired for your own creativity/motivation To be up-to-date on the most current social conversations about the anime/animation 24% 0% 0% 44% 8% 8% 0% 3% Most American students watch anime to release stress or to relax. Most Japanese students watch anime to have fun.
Preferred films Between the mentioned Hayao Miyzaki films and Walt disney films, which ones do you watch more? Hayao Miyazaki Films Japanese Uni Student American Uni Student Walt Disney Films 38% 62% 51% 49% Japanese students watch Hayao Miyazaki films more than Walt Disney. American students watch both Walt Disney and Hayao Miyazaki films.
Preferred Characteristics American and Japanese students want a courageous, independent and purehearted heroine. However, American students prefer a heroine that is patient and realistic and the Japanese students want a non-realistic heroine.
Disliked Characteristics For what following traits do you NOT prefer in a heroine? 20% 15% 10% American Uni Student 5% Japanese Uni Student nt Pa tie nt de en us ep eo In d ur ag rt ed Co he a th er e- O Pu r in Sk ed tic Fl aw Fa nt a sy /N on -R ea lis al is tic Re au ty le ss Be nt tie pa m id Ti de en D ep Im Fl aw Se l fis h/ T ai nt e d nt 0% American and Japanese students do not like the selfish and dependent heroine. In addition, Japanese do not like a timid and impatient heroine.
Research Q 2 Summary Findings The reason for watching anime is different for America and Japan ◦ The American student watches anime to release stress or relieve boredom ◦ The Japanese student watches anime to have fun. Japanese students watch Hayao Miyazaki films more than they watch Walt Disney films. American students watch Walt Disney and Hayao Miyazaki all the same. ◦ The results are too close to tell between the two director’s which is watched more Even though the American student and the Japanese like the same-kind of heroine, the results are due to the cultural and environmental influence that one has learned in their life over time.
Research Question 3: 3. What are the expectations for future heroines?
Reversed Roles (Walt Disney > Hayao Miyazaki) Although the Japanese are very excited, or feel uncomfortable; the American are indifferent about this idea. Otherwise, the American feel uncomfortable about Disney.
Reversed Roles (Hayao Miyazaki > Walt Disney) If Hayao Miyazaki, himself, were to remake a Walt Disney film, such as Cinderella, from his own perspective, how would that make you feel? Indifferent Excited Japanese Uni Student American Uni Student Uncomfortable Worried Upset 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Although the American student are divided between feeling either indifferent or excited; for the Japanese, they are feeling very interested or uncomfortable.
Future Expectation of the Heroine Even though the American and Japanese students desire a courageous, independent, and pure-hearted heroine; the Japanese student desire to see their heroine to be non-realistic and the perfect beauty, while the American students desire to see a more realistic heroine.
Research Q 3 Summary Findings: Respectfully speaking that if Miyazaki were to remake a Disney film, the Japanese would be very interested, or feel uncomfortable; the American students feel indifferent or excited about this idea. Otherwise, if Disney remade a Miyazaki film, the American student would feel indifferent or uncomfortable, while the Japanese would feel very excited or uncomfortable. As for future heroines, though the American and Japanese student desire a courageous, independent, and pure-hearted heroine; Japanese students desire to see a heroine that is beautiful and non-realistic, while American students want a more realistic heroine.
Conclusion and Discussion: In regard to Disney’s and Miyazaki’s heroine, this generation female enjoys the heroine that overcomes her challenges. Throughout the times of animation, there are similarities between Walt Disney’s and Hayao Miyazaki’s heroines. There also differences. For example, the content in Disney’s or Miyazaki’s films can reproduce the complexity of current societal issues based on what is interpreted by the director’s cultural or social background. Also, due to the heroine being idolized for how she is reflected in society, this becomes a vital expectation for future heroines.
Limitation of the Study: When it came to creating the survey for the students, I: ◦ Didn’t ask the appropriate questions ◦ Didn’t have enough Japanese respondents
Future Study ◦ Nationwide Influence on general public ◦ Research on heroes versus heroines influence on audience ◦ Effects of Animation among public > Violent versus non-violent
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Acknowledgements Dr. Yoshiko Saito-Abbott Dr. Chikaomi Takahashi Librarian: Ms. Sarah Dahlen California State University of Monterey Bay Library The WWW・Internet My Computer – TOBI Fellow Classmates