Hayao Miyazaki reportedly said that his son’s film Goro Earwig and the Witch is “as good as Pixar.” While Earwig has his strengths, Miyazaki is wrong.

Studio Ghibli and Pixar have often been compared to each other over the years. Both studios have a reputation for consistently producing animated classics with a lot of heart, despite a few hiccups along the way (Tales of Earthsea, Cars 2). While Ghibli has stuck with mostly traditional animation, while Pixar has innovated 3D computer animation. Earwig and the witch It is Ghibli’s first CG anime, and legendary director Hayao Miyazaki has reportedly compared the film to Pixar’s quality standard.

In a recent interview for Polygon, Earwig Director Goro Miyazaki mentioned that his father stated Earwig and the witch be of Pixar quality. According to Goro, his father “has seen [the finished film] and said it was very interesting. He said that we were finally able to do something as good as Pixar. I think he felt a bit of competition or rivalry towards Pixar. “While it’s certainly nice that Hayao is being more complimentary to his son, he’s wrong about this: Earwig and the witchThe quality of the animation is not at the level of Pixar.

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What is Pixar quality?

Monsters Inc Pixar

What does Hayao Miyazaki mean by his Pixar comparison? You could be referring to one of two things: the quality of the animation or the quality of the narration. As for the latter, Ghibli has long been at a similar (if not higher) level of consistency to Pixar. Both Pixar and Ghibli have released 23 animated features (if we count the pre-Ghibli Nausicaa but not co-production The red turtle). From that number, only two of the ghibli movies Tales of Earthsea and Earwig and the Witch – have scored below 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, while four of Pixar’s films have — three Cars movies and The good dinosaur – have fallen below the same metric. Both studies rely on roughly the same metric when comparing their best features.

Given the Earwig and the witch is Studio Ghibli’s first fully CGI feature and Pixar is a huge CGI innovator, Hayao Miyazaki is most likely comparing Earwig to the quality of animation seen in Pixar movies. Pixar has managed to bring warmth and liveliness to its CGI animation that no other studio has matched: its most recent film. soul is without a doubt one of the most beautifully animated CGI movies ever made. Does Earwig reach that standard? In some areas, yes, but definitely not in others.

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Earwig and the Witch excels at setting and character design

Earwig and the witch

Aspects of Earwig and the witch The best fit for Pixar animation quality are the brilliant character and setting designs. Each character looks different and brilliantly performed. This is especially true for Bella Yaga, the mother of Mandrake and Earwig both in the past and in the present.

The only flaw in these character designs is the texture of the character. The skin is usually too smooth, resulting in characters without pores or blemishes. Compare Earwig to Pixar’s Soul. Skin on soul is much more detailed, resulting in characters that appear more real. Likewise, the cat Thomas in Earwig lacks distinctive skin, compared to Pixar’s pioneering work on Monsters inc. 20 years ago, it seems disappointing. While the designs are great, the lack of texture is a demerit. Textures look better than humans in the first Toy storybut he’s over 25, and there’s a reason Toy story mainly focused on characters made of plastic.

However, although the character designs are slightly affected by the lack of texture, EarwigStage designs are incredibly detailed. The workroom, in particular, is lovingly depicted as this dirty mess of a place, filled with fermented sludge. Ghibli animators masterfully illuminate these richly crafted sets in ways that match the movie’s tone: fun, whimsical and charming.

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Earwig and witch fight with emotional animation

However, while these are components of what makes Pixar so great, some key ingredients are missing in Earwig and the witch that keep it from being on par with Pixar’s CG animation or, for that matter, the rest of the Ghibli library. More significantly, Earwig and the witch He struggles to make his characters emotional.

Studio Ghibli is famous for its expressive animation. Even the ways animators handle hair movement represent some aspect of the emotion given to a character. In EarwigHowever, the faces and posture of the characters are too rigid to be expressive. Faces do not smoothly transition between different emotions, but simply oscillate between common facial expressions. This rigidity draws viewers into the narrative and makes it difficult to connect with potentially interesting characters.

From an animation point of view, it is Earwig and the witch overall a success. It is Studio Ghibli’s first CGI animated film and proof that no matter how divisive his stories are, Goro Miyazaki is talented in the field of animation. However, it is misleading to say that Earwig and the witchThe stiff animation is on par with the quality consistently demonstrated by Pixar.

Directed by Goro Miyazaki, Earwig and the witch features the voices of Richard E. Grant, Kacey Musgraves, Dan Stevens, and Taylor Paige. The movie is out now on HBO Max.

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