Animation, Branding and Authorship in the Construction of the ‘Anti-Disney’ Ethos: Hayao Miyazaki’s Works and Persona through Disney Film Criticism
Walt Disney (1901–1966) is one of the most important figures in the history of cinema, but he may also be one of the most criticized. Adjectives referring to Disney in their different forms (‘Japanese Disney’, ‘Asian Disney’, ‘Disney from the Orient’, etc.), have also been applied to the analysis of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (1941–). Disney’s legacy has been reviewed and examined through different theoretical lenses derived from cultural studies and film criticism. In contrast, scholarship and cultural criticism have decoded Miyazaki’s works in terms of auteurism. These approaches also emphasize similarities based on high quality of production and individual signatures while differentiating between ideological and cultural readings of each author’s legacy. In this construction of what has been referred to as ‘anti-Disney’, the most common strategies of classical auteurism act together, including the mythical construction of the creator’s persona through cultural criticism and other film paratexts. In order to better understand the role of authorship in animation, a distinction between brand, style and creator’s persona is suggested.