In a way, the narrator of this video is trying to explain a very real and important quality about Studio Ghibli movies that makes them considered to be so great and loved by so many people. From the texture to the smallest noises that go into making the backdrop of an animated movie there are a lot of differences between the original movies and the American-English dubbed versions when it comes to noise. For one reason or another American viewers seem to have a stigma about needing to hear music within a movie instead of just depending on the ambient noise that might seem more natural and far more realistic. Sound is, as some people forget, another way that we interpret our world and learn about our surroundings, and in Studio Ghibli movies this is something that’s very present in the original versions as it gives a very real sense of something actually happening, of the background being important and not just another prop for the movie. It might seem like a harsh criticism of American movies, but far too many animated movies in America, particularly by Disney, seem to rely on music that lingers or forcibly rests in the background so as to explain the overall feeling of the scene, even as it drowns out any ambient noise that might give a better idea of just what’s going on and where the scene is taking place.
Ambient noises are a big part of why Studio Ghibli animated movies seem so realistic since it is mirroring real life in a much more accurate way than other animated movies since it gives a backdrop of something you might actually hear in the real world. While music is great and all and can be heard in the background of everyday life, it’s still not realistic since there’s no musical score following anyone around in the real world and as such it grants a very unrealistic view of the world we live in. Studio Ghibli movies however take things further as they focus intently on the background, from noise to the animation that actually happens in the background. Ever notice how some animated movies don’t really focus on the background that often? It’s usually fuzzed out, the background characters don’t move, interact, or do much of anything since they’re not intended to be a big part of the story. Studio Ghibli movies change that since they integrate the background with the foreground quite often and every character has some detail that makes them a full part of the scenery.
This seems like a big part of what’s missing in American animation, the background. While some folks just don’t get Studio Ghibli’s ideas or stories the one thing that should be able to be agreed upon is that they make use of pretty much everything within the scope of the movie and make it so that people can experience the entire thing as though it’s on par with the real world. It’s far too easy for an animated movie to focus on one individual or group and force the audience to accept that they’re the main focus of the story and that nothing else seems to really matter. This is kind of a lazy way to write as well as make a movie since it absolves the writers of having to think of such a large scope and gives them permission to think in a very narrow-minded way. Creating a rich and vibrant world with the ambient noises and the realistic background gives an animated movie a great deal more character and a quality that might make western audiences kind of anxious since there isn’t a musical score every few seconds. Think about it, in real life we don’t hear music with every new situation we find ourselves in, though in animated movies and even in live action movies this seems to be the way of it in America, as though the mere mention of ambient noise is enough to send us into a panic attack since there’s nothing to drown out the reality of the world we live in. This is what Studio Ghibli does, it allows the natural world in without the need to drown it out or offer up any way to tune it out. That makes for a much more realistic movie than many might want to admit.
Animated movies are notorious for being musicals or for having a soundtrack that drowns out any realistic noise that might make people anxious or feel as though it’s not the same kind of fantasy that they remember as a child, but there are times when it’s best to leave the noise in for some realism. While musicals are great and have their place, the real world is just as nice to hear at times.