Aside from creating some of the most splendid animation in cinema, the films from Studio Ghibli have also been noted for their progressive social consciousness. From “Nausicaä” onwards, they have touched upon a wide range of subjects, from racism to environmentalism to feminism. This time around, Miyazaki’s deep feminist undertones are put under the microscope in this new video essay assembled by the folks over at The Mary Sue.
As they carefully lay out in the video, Studio Ghibli has always relied heavily on strong female protagonists. In sharp contrast to the Disney princesses, who are almost always waiting for a charming young prince to sweep them off their feet, the studio presents its women as fierce and independent, never in need of a man to define who they are. Whether they be the fantastical heroines of “Princess Mononoke” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” or the complex leads in down-to-earth dramas like “Whisper of the Heart” and “Only Yesterday,” Ghibli presents them all as complicated and flawed beings fighting to discover themselves amidst the patriarchal norms of society.
You can check out the video above, courtesy of The Mary Sue.
READ MORE: Watch: Daisy Ridley is Moving From ‘Star Wars’ to Studio Ghibli