I don't know why but I feel like I have to make a post on this one. Today on the bus, I was thinking about what the big difference is between Disney and anime I came to a conclusion.
Aside from the HUGE fact that Disney characters and Anime characters look very different and the culture behind the stories have their vast contrasts, it has to do with the movements of the characters and the emphasis on space and setting.
Disney animations have beautiful paintings of settings for their backgrounds but they mostly serve JUST as a backgrounds. The settings in Disney films don't seem to move around or come alive like the characters do. They seem to mostly act as a ground for the characters and objects that the characters interact with.
The settings in anime features come to life. For example, the grass is shown moving with the wind or the rustling of the trees can be seen and heard. Maybe there might be scene that simply shows the babbling brook or stream.
If Disney animations show moving settings, it seems like the characters have to interact with it for it to be alive. In Anime, the settings can come alive on their own without the interference of the characters.
In a sense, settings in Disney animation films seem to be more dead compared to Anime films because the settings in Disney films come alive usually when a character interacts with it opposed to Anime where the settings come alive on their own and they are shown exclusively doing so with almost equal screentime with the characters. And when I say, "come alive," I mean that the settings are being animated like grass moving, trees moving, water moving, etc.
The harmonious balance between nature and characters is obvious in Anime but not so obvious in Disney. Hopefully, Disney will catch on and start to put more emphasis on the portrayal of the beauty of nature and settings as it makes the feature film so much more wonderful as a whole.
Now for character movements; this part is fairly difficult to explain because when comparing anime movements to Disney movements, the differences are that some movements are exaggerated, yet not exaggerated, simple, yet not that simple. It is full of contradictions because the way the characters move are done in rather different ways.
Animated Disney characters have very fluid movement. Therefore, it's rather realistic. Anime character's movements are not as fluid and the different positions of their movements don't have as many in-between movements. So it's like one position quickly jumps to the next with Anime.
Some Anime's do have very fluid movement but the difference with those is that the camera angles and movements are highly contrasted with Disney because the exaggerated movements in Anime characters have to do with a combination of the camera movements/angles AND the character's movements while in Disney, it's mostly the characters that are moving and not so much the camera.