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  • Titill er á ensku Humans, Nature and Spirits: An Ecocritical Analysis of Studio Ghibli’s Films
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    This essay analyzes three of Studio Ghibli’s films: Princess Mononoke (1997), Pom Poko (1994), and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) through the lens of ecocriticism. The first three chapters set out to analyze how nature is represented in each movie, what the relationship between nature and human characters is, the main environmental problems portrayed in each film, as well as how these mirror problems in real life. The aim is to examine each narrative individually, analyzing the complex relationship between humanity and nature, and how that relationship becomes the leading force in the story. Characters are analyzed depending on their behavior and actions towards nature and categorized into three main groups: ecocentrism, neutrality, and anthropocentrism. The thesis also compares the events presented in the stories with real-life occurrences such as animal-human contact, resource depletion, the impact of destructive practices of the West on minorities or poorer regions of the world, irresponsible human land use, and the lasting effects of human action in biodiversity, which aims to underline the films’ important activistic nature. The essay further investigates common influences in all three narratives such as anthropomorphism, war and the apocalypse, Shinto, and the use of “child-gaze” in storytelling. The role of “Shojo” or young protagonists is also discussed and compared to the active role younger generations play in environmental action today. Finally, the essay analyzes how these devices are used to create a compelling narrative, and how they prompt the audience to think critically and re-evaluate their understanding of human-nature relationships. Ultimately, the movies offer a variety of scenarios and thought-provoking dilemmas that, in the view of the Studio Ghibli directors, only kindness, peace, equity, and international cooperation can solve.

  • 20.12.2021

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