Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

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Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 19th, 2021, 4:15 pm

I have a question, which regards a particular sound effect commonly used in movies.

Since Hayao Miyazaki has had some exposure to American culture in the past, is he familiar with a particular sound effect and inside joke called the Wilhelm Scream?

I heard that some people think that it was in at least a couple of the company's movies, Princess Mononoke and From Up on Poppy Hill. What is so strange is that why would the company use it in some of their movies, especially since Miyazaki isn't fond of particular aspects of American culture, especially pertaining to cinema/entertainment.

Honestly, it would seem out of place in a Studio Ghibli movie, but I am curious about Miyazaki's thoughts on other aspects of American culture.

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Re: Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by Dacey » June 19th, 2021, 4:50 pm

Though the scream has become an "in-joke" for movie fans, it's also so commonly used that since the films called for a scream, that was what they went for.

Also can't speak for how Miyazaki himself feels it, but in Japan, American pop culture remains extremely popular. So some Japanese moviegoers may have caught the scream even if its usage wasn't intended as a reference.
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Re: Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by Ben » June 19th, 2021, 5:07 pm

Well, obviously, the only way to know is to ask him!

But it’s a stock sound effect, found in most professional libraries, and has been used in films totally innocently, as a scream, as much as it has, in more recent times, as a fun Easter egg with a knowing and nodding wink to those who recognise it.

But to everyone else, a scream is a scream is a scream. And if it pops up in a Ghibli movie, it’s just a scream for the viewer, just as it is, more than likely, for the filmmakers. I doubt Miyazaki cares, if what you say is true, but if the scream fits then the scream fits…!

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Re: Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 19th, 2021, 10:32 pm

Dacey wrote:
June 19th, 2021, 4:50 pm
Though the scream has become an "in-joke" for movie fans, it's also so commonly used that since the films called for a scream, that was what they went for.

Also can't speak for how Miyazaki himself feels it, but in Japan, American pop culture remains extremely popular. So some Japanese moviegoers may have caught the scream even if its usage wasn't intended as a reference.
Though the Wilhelm Scream took on a whole new life of its own as an "inside joke", and is almost never used in a serious context or out of a need for a quick sound nowadays. Compare how it was used in The Charge at Feather River and how it was used in later films like the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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Re: Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by Ben » June 20th, 2021, 5:02 am

Yes, but to 99.9% of the LOTR audience, it’s just a scream, and still used at the right moments.

Just like the "crunch" body fall to the ground is just a body landing on the ground, that was used in a zillion 60s and 70s action films especially. Most people wouldn’t even notice the same sound effect if you played it to them twice in a row, which is how and why these SFX remained in use.

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Re: Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 21st, 2021, 11:18 am

My question is did Studio Ghibli ever used the Wilhelm Scream?

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Re: Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by Ben » June 21st, 2021, 12:35 pm

My answer would be, if you can’t find that information through the power of Google, to watch every single Ghibli movie…and find out!

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Re: Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 21st, 2021, 5:02 pm

Honestly, that scream is quite out of place in serious movies. I can't imagine that being in a serious movie like From Up on Poppy Hill, because it just doesn't feel right.

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Re: Wilhelm Scream in Studio Ghibli movies?

Post by Ben » June 21st, 2021, 6:39 pm

Only because you know it. To everyone else it’s just a yell.

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