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In this essay I will be discussing the similarities and differences between the character Alice from Walt Disneys Alice in Wonderland and the character Chihiro Sen from Hayao Miyazakis film Spirited Away These characters are both of comparable ages and their personalities share many qualities which go through the same metamorphosis towards the end of the films Both characters experience new exciting and even dangerous situations that challenge them more than they could ever have imagined before Miyazakis typical Shojo character is notably independent and active courageously confronting the variety of obstacles before her in a manner that might well be described as stereotypically masculine as opposed to the classic Shojo character which tends to be passive or dreamy with ultrafemininity However Disneys typical female character is usually not nearly as forthright as a Miyazaki character and they tend to be more passive and less fiery The character Alice from Alice in Wonderland seems to be one of the exceptions Hayao Miyazakis Spirited Away came for many with built-in expectations After the exhausting but highly successful production of Princess Mononoke 1998 the director announced his retirement from filmmaking It was a promise he reneged on when meeting the ten-year old daughter of a friend This girl provided the inspiration for Chihiro the little heroine at the centre of Spirited Away a film aimed at ten-year old girls but universal enough in its appeal to break every box office record on its home turf going on to not only become the highest grossing film of all time in Japan but attaining that status in record time What struck Miyazaki about the real-life girl who served as the inspiration for Chihiro was not only the fact that she seemed jaded to the attention her parents were giving her something he subsequently noticed in other girls of that age but also that she was one member of an age group largely overlooked by the film industry This combination
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