a strong and very prominent message and theme throughout the various studio ghibli films is a sense of strong young females who do not require the help of a man; instead these females may need support at times (like chihiro needing emotional support and comfort from haku) but never relying solely on their male counterpart for anything.
this is a huge theme for me in my paper, exploring these relationships between characters like chihiro and haku or sophie and howl. and these aren’t the only films to have such relationships but i don’t want to dive too deep into the rabbit hole, hence me sticking with only two of the studio ghibli films that have impacted me the most.
anyway, i just find these themes and messages to not only be empowering for women and young girls but also very important and underrated. these films often are looked over as being impactful because they are cartoons, anime in particular, but that doesn’t make their messages any less important. in fact i think it makes them more so because that means that children, like me in 2003, are going to watch these movies and have these amazing, empowering messages embedded into their minds and therefore their outlooks.