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#1 Spirited Away vs. #16 Yellow Submarine



1. Originality

Yellow Submarine
I never would have thought Spirited Away would get beaten by any animated movies in terms of originality. But Yellow Submarine simply has absurd, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, and often in-between imagery that just has never been repeated in film.

2. Script/Screenplay

Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine wins again, with quick and snappy dialogue often similar to A Hard Day's Night. Of course all the Beatles are iconic, although not actually voiced by themselves. However, the voice acting is pretty good and the script was no let-down either.

3. Animation

Spirited Away
The animation of Spirited Away is out-of-this world. Once you get into the bathhouse and the fantastical world of Spirited Away, nothing can take you out of it. The views of the water, the train ride scene, all the creatures - it makes for a very beautiful film.

4. Characters

Spirited Away
Chihiro alone would be enough for Spirited Away, but with the likes of Haku, Yubaba, and all the other fascinating and often complex characters of Spirited Away, there is no contest. These are some of Miyazaki's best characters.

5. Music/Sound

Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine = Beatles = No explanation needed.

6. Themes/Values

Spirited Away
Spirited Away has possibly the most deep and complex themes of Miyazaki's entire canon, which is saying a lot. Themes such as enviromentalism (with Haku the river spirit), finding your core (involving the "stink" spirit and no-face) and much more are swept up into a fantastical dream world of themes and values that will never fail to leave an impact.

7. Structure/Pacing

Spirited Away
Structurally, Spirited Away is also a masterpiece. Chihiro's journey, both physical and emotional, is paced to perfection, and the introductions to a plethora of characters also has a simple but wonderful structure that never gets old.

Spirited Away - 4
Yellow Submarine - 3



Winner: #1 Spirited Away



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



#2 The Lion King vs. #15 The Illusionist



1. Originality

The Lion King
As interesting as The Illusionist was, Hamlet with lions is cooler. Who thought of that? It actually works, everything works. I loved the African settings, the landscapes, the sun and the moon. The story was pretty original too.

2. Script/Screenplay

The Lion King
Since the Illusionist has virtually no script, I have to give it to the Lion King. Although Disney Renaissance kids humor has never really impressed me, there are some funny moments, and Simba's overall journey is portrayed well.

3. Animation

The Illusionist
The Lion King is one of the best-animated Disney movies, but it's no match for The Illusionist. There are beautiful color schemes, well-drawn characters, and overall fantastic settings and scenes that have an amazing pop to them.

4. Characters

The Lion King
Even though most of them are lions that look nearly the same, most of the characters in the Lion King stand out. Whether it is Simba and Mufasa, and their relationships, or the villain Scar, or Timon and Pumbaa for comedic relief, most of the characters are very well thought out.

5. Music/Sound

The Lion King
This actually isn't one of my favorite Disney soundtracks. I'd easily prefer The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, or Aladdin to this. But The Illusionist simply didn't have much to it, so I chose the plain but hummable songs in The Lion King.

6. Themes/Values

The Lion King
The Illusionist to me often seemed confused and didn't have a clear theme. The Lion King just exudes strong themes of courage, leadership, and the ability to get over and understand loss. While they aren't handled in the mature fashion that studios like Ghibli and Pixar do it, they're good enough, and I'll take the Lion King.

7. Structure/Pacing

The Lion King
Simba's journey in The Lion King, although it felt rushed, was admirable to look at. His character growth and relationships to other characters was handled in a beautiful way. I loved seeing the pacing and structure of this film pay off in the end with the final battle.

The Lion King - 6
The Illusionist - 1



Winner: #2 The Lion King

Kind of surprised at this one. I've never really been too fond of The Lion King, but simply hated The Illusionist.



It’s been a little bit since I’ve commented and I have to say that, except for The Little Mermaid vs Persepolis, I disagree with every winner you’ve chosen. I’m also quite shocked at your hatred of The Illusionist. I find it to be an incredibly beautiful and moving film, certainly superior to the obnoxiousness that is The Lion King.



It’s been a little bit since I’ve commented and I have to say that, except for The Little Mermaid vs Persepolis, I disagree with every winner you’ve chosen. I’m also quite shocked at your hatred of The Illusionist. I find it to be an incredibly beautiful and moving film, certainly superior to the obnoxiousness that is The Lion King.
I guess I didn’t hate The Illusionist, I just found it to be un-interesting in general... to say I watched it might be a stretch even because I started it and kept dozing off and snapping back in, trying to pick up the plot that I missed... and I wasn’t tired at all when I watched it, it was the movie itself.



#3 Princess Mononoke vs. #14 Castle in the Sky



1. Originality

Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke takes epic fantasy to a whole new level. There are amazing fight scenes, bizarre woodland creatures, and an overall mystic vibe that isn't repeated in any other film, animated or not.

2. Script/Screenplay

Castle in the Sky
The script of Castle in the Sky is maybe Miyazaki's best, other than Porco Rosso. There are some great lines, and the villains have great dialogue scenes. I love the complexity of the two youngest characters.

3. Animation

Princess Mononoke
The animation of this movie is almost too good to be true. It just sparkles... there is so much color, so much design, so much beauty. It all comes together to create a film that is truly magical to look at.

4. Characters

Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke hosts some of Miyazaki's most complex characters, such as A****aka, San, and Lady Eboshi. The epic conflict between nature and civilization is brought to a new level with the great characters.

5. Music/Sound

Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke is one of Joe Hiashi's best scores for Studio Ghibli. It's epic and menacing, but can also be beautiful. I loved the music at the beginning, it set up the dark tone and feel of the film.

6. Themes/Values

Princess Mononoke
Life isn't always black and white. Princess Mononoke sures shows that, with it's themes about nature, civilization, and humanity flowing together seamlessly. While humans are often seen as destructive, they are also portrayed in a more positive light, which can throw off the viewer a lot.

7. Structure/Pacing

Castle in the Sky
This search for a lost island in the sky is perfectly paced and structured. Every moment has you on the edge of your seat, and it reminds me often of some blockbuster movie, except in anime form. Really well done from Miyazaki

Princess Mononoke - 5
Castle in the Sky - 2



Winner: #3 Princess Mononoke



And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
#4 Toy Story 2 vs. #13 Dumbo


Toy Story 2 - 4
Dumbo - 3



Winner: #4 Toy Story 2

It's been a while since I've seen either of these movies, but from what I remember about them, I would probably pick Dumbo over Toy Story 2. I love the little green aliens in the Toy Story movies, but overall I prefer Dumbo for the emotions it brings out and the unforgettable songs.
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And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
#6 The Iron Giant vs. #11 Porco Rosso


Porco Rosso - 4
The Iron Giant - 3



Winner: #11 Porco Rosso

I haven't seen Porco Rosso, so I can't compare the two movies, but I love The Iron Giant.



And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
#8 The Lego Movie vs. #9 Alice in Wonderland


The Lego Movie - 6
Alice in Wonderland - 1



Winner: #8 The Lego Movie

These movies are so different that it's hard to compare them, but they're both fun movies in their own ways. The only category that I would disagree with you about is the characters. I thought the characters in Alice in Wonderland were much more unique, so it would have gotten my vote here.

Overall, I would probably pick Alice in Wonderland over The Lego Movie, but they're both great movies.



#4 Aladdin vs. #13 Bambi



1. Originality

Bambi
While Aladdin is interesting, Bambi is strikingly original. It paints the life of a young deer, starting at the birth of Bambi and ending at the birth of his child. It is almost a slice-of-life film, very unique for Disney.

2. Script/Screenplay

Aladdin
Aladdin's good screenplay is due almost entirely to the lines for the Genie. While they can definitely get obnoxious, the rest of the script is pretty good as well, and it all balances out quite finely.

3. Animation

Bambi
Aladdin has unique and colorful Arabian flavors, but Bambi is the clear winner. With delightful shapes of animals, and images of the forest in all four seasons, plus a wildfire, Bambi has stunningly beautiful artwork.

4. Characters

Aladdin
Aladdin as a character is quite simple, and I don't like him very much. However, all the other characters in Aladdin (except for the obnoxious parrot) I think are quite fascinating. Of course, the genie played by Robin Williams is the standout.

5. Music/Sound

B]Aladdin[/b]
The score to Bambi is actually very good, but Alan Menken is weaving magic again with the beautiful and sweeping score of Aladdin. The songs are memorable for the most part, and the orchestral filler music is actually quite epic as well.

6. Themes/Values

Bambi
Bambi has some pretty deep and mature themes for a Disney movie. The themes explored involve the relationship between humans and nature, love, and the change from adolescence to adulthood.

7. Structure/Pacing

Bambi
As I mentioned before this, Bambi can be seen as a "slice-of-life" film, in that it involves the daily activities of Bambi in his journey from childhood to adulthood. This is paced and structured very well, and I love the contrast of the first scene to the ending scene.

Bambi - 4
Aladdin - 3



Winner: #13 Bambi

I don't expect this opinion to be very popular, but I just don't find Aladdin too appealing. I like Bambi much more.



Hayao Miyazaki's films tend to blend together in my memory, so I couldn't tell you whether I liked Mononoke or Castle in the Sky more (or, more accurately, which one I disliked less) and have no opinion on that match-up.

Glad to see you choose Bambi over Aladdin though. I liked both films when I was a kid, but found that not to be the case for Aladdin when I grew up. Still love Bambi though.



And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
#4 Aladdin vs. #13 Bambi


Bambi - 4
Aladdin - 3



Winner: #13 Bambi

I don't expect this opinion to be very popular, but I just don't find Aladdin too appealing. I like Bambi much more.

These are both good movies, but Bambi is one of my favorite Disney movies, and Thumper is one of my all-time favorite animated characters. For me, Bambi is easily the winner of this match.



#5 How to Train Your Dragon vs. #12 Whisper of the Heart



1. Originality

How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon has not only original characters and a great protagonist, but its whole story outshines Whisper of the Heart in terms of originality. I loved the development of all the characters.

2. Script/Screenplay

How to Train Your Dragon
The script of this movie is one of Dreamwork's best. There are some laugh-out-loud moments and the rest of it is written with a heartwarming charm that totally fits Hiccup's personality and the rest of the vikings.

3. Animation

How to Train Your Dragon
The animation of this movie always just blows me away. The flying scenes are done so darn well that I feel like I'm flying. The rest of it has a beautiful color and tone scheme to it. Visually remarkable.

4. Characters

How to Train Your Dragon
While this movie has its share of annoying characters, Hiccup and Toothless by themselves make up for it. Along with them are the fantastic characters of Hiccup's father, Astrid, and many more in this colorful film.

5. Music/Sound

How to Train Your Dragon
The score of this movie has always impressed me, and I find that John Powell does such a good job with conveying this epic story in music. There are Viking-themed pieces but also intimate moments of beauty and sweeping sections of power.

6. Themes/Values

How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon is about many things, but most importantly, it is about accepting change. The superstitions and judgements of both dragons and people towards each other misleads them into a war that lasts many years. However, with Hiccup's help, both sides can see the light - that we can live in peace.

7. Structure/Pacing

Whisper of the Heart
Whisper of the Heart is very slow-moving, but I think it works for this movie. It is all about finding yourself and pursuing your dreams, and sometimes that takes a while... the movie takes a while, too, which suits its topic.

How to Train Your Dragon - 6
Whisper of the Heart - 1



Winner: #5 How to Train Your Dragon



#6 Shrek vs. #11 Perfect Blue



1. Originality

Perfect Blue
Both of these movies score well for originality, but I'll give it to Perfect Blue for being basically the only well-known animated horror film out there. Obviously there are others but I don't really know them and none are as effective or brilliant as Perfect Blue.

2. Script/Screenplay

Shrek
Although it often feels like with Shrek Dreamworks is just trying to be Pixar, most of this movie is pretty clever and there are some hilarious moments. I particularly loved the interactions between Shrek and Fiona, but Shrek is right - Donkey is ultra annoying.

3. Animation

Perfect Blue
Even if the animation of Perfect Blue had been mediocre, I still would have chosen it over the ugliness of early CGI Shrek. Perfect Blue, however, makes the choice completely clear with its amazing uses of red and blue, and other unique forms of animation and detail.

4. Characters

Shrek
Other than Donkey, I love all the characters in Shrek. Shrek himself, an ugly but kindhearted ogre, is of course the standout. But we get Fiona too, who is a sentimental but fierce princess. Lord Farquad I just love, every scene with him is great.

5. Music/Sound

Shrek
Yes, "All Star" has known as having an almost notorious usage in Shrek. However, the rest of the soundtrack, especially the orchestral parts, I just love. Particularly the opening scene with Lord Farquad is fantastic. Great score.

6. Themes/Values

Perfect Blue
So what is Perfect Blue about in the end? One thing for sure is that it's a complex and terrifying tale of what happens when our thoughts (and our fans) get ahold of us. We never know who is really imagining what or what is really going on. Even the end I think is quite ambiguous and is chilling in its own way. The themes are dark and complex, and I love it.

7. Structure/Pacing

Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue is a slow-burner at first, and then quickens to become a huge psychological whirlwind. It is masterfully executed and I loved every minute of the structure and pacing. It was extremely well done.

Perfect Blue - 4
Shrek - 3



Winner: #11 Perfect Blue



I love Shrek, but I'd probably also rank Perfect Blue over it. Satoshi Kon was a truly gifted filmmaker.
Very happy to see How to Train Your Dragon win out over Whisper of the Heart. I really don't get the love for Miyazaki.



I love Shrek, but I'd probably also rank Perfect Blue over it. Satoshi Kon was a truly gifted filmmaker.
Very happy to see How to Train Your Dragon win out over Whisper of the Heart. I really don't get the love for Miyazaki.
Well, Miyazaki didn't technically direct Whisper of the Heart, that was Yoshifumi Kondō. It's personally my least favorite Studio Ghibli film (although I haven't seen the supposedly awful ones like Tales of Earthsea). I would have liked to see what Kondō did with his career, but unfortunately he died in 1998... as for Miyazaki, he ranks #21 on my current list of favorite directors (right between Charlie Chaplin and John Lasseter). He is not my favorite animator - that would be Andrew Stanton - but his work I think is really really good.



Well, Miyazaki didn't technically direct Whisper of the Heart, that was Yoshifumi Kondō.
Whenever I see a Ghibli film I nearly always assume it's him. Oops.

It's personally my least favorite Studio Ghibli film (although I haven't seen the supposedly awful ones like Tales of Earthsea).
Of the Ghibli films I've seen, my least favorite was Only Yesterday. Man that child was obnoxious.



Whenever I see a Ghibli film I nearly always assume it's him. Oops.



Of the Ghibli films I've seen, my least favorite was Only Yesterday. Man that child was obnoxious.
Just out of curiosity, it seems like you've seen nearly every Ghibli film or at least Miyazaki... why is that, if you don't really like his work? I usually just stop after 2-3 films from any director if I dislike their work.



Just out of curiosity, it seems like you've seen nearly every Ghibli film or at least Miyazaki... why is that, if you don't really like his work? I usually just stop after 2-3 films from any director if I dislike their work.
I think I watched Only Yesterday and Grave of the Fireflies in preparation for the Animation Countdown (didn’t vote for either of them). After the countdown was done, I decided that as the host and an animation fan I should watch everything that made the countdown - which meant watching Whisper of the Heart and all of Hayao Miyazaki’s feature films except Castle of Cagliostro (which I later had to watch for a Hall of Fame). I have also seen The Tale of Princess Kagua, which I think was also nominated for a HOF.

I’m glad I decided to watch everything from the countdown though. It’s what introduced me to Satoshi Kon, even if my favorite Kon movie, Tokyo Godfathers, didn’t make the countdown.



Just out of curiosity, it seems like you've seen nearly every Ghibli film or at least Miyazaki... why is that, if you don't really like his work? I usually just stop after 2-3 films from any director if I dislike their work.
I think I watched Only Yesterday and Grave of the Fireflies in preparation for the Animation Countdown (didn’t vote for either of them). After the countdown was done, I decided that as the host and an animation fan I should watch everything that made the countdown - which meant watching Whisper of the Heart and all of Hayao Miyazaki’s feature films except Castle of Cagliostro (which I later had to watch for a Hall of Fame). I have also seen The Tale of Princess Kagua, which I think was also nominated for a HOF.

I’m glad I decided to watch everything from the countdown though. It’s what introduced me to Satoshi Kon, even if my favorite Kon movie, Tokyo Godfathers, didn’t make the countdown.
Oh, cool, so you’ve seen literally every matchup I’m doing.