Arlistan takes ideas from Miyazaki

I just saw this on TV, its a commercial for an instant coffee brand called Arlistan. It reminds me a lot to the well known Hayao Miyazaki’s movies, specially “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Princess Mononoke” . What do you think?

Arlistan commercial:

Miyazaki’s work:


  • I don’t see any infringement here, just inspiration.

  • Little bit similar style and that’s it. Flying dogs/wolves with long whiskers, flying ship/houses were done many times before.

  • Huh. Now I have some hankering to settle down with a nice cup of tea and watch Princess Mononoke again.

    Not a rip, just thin watered down ideas, style, animation and, probably, coffee.

  • “Inspired” or not, the art is all original and is a pretty great ad.

  • Let’s see:

    1. Miyazaki licenses his work for anime…Howel’s Moving Castle is a book by Diane Wynn Jones which he licenses for adaptation into Anime.

    2. The art is original and therefore not a copy.

    3. An idea cannot be copyrighted.

  • OMG….

    And also clearly a rip of Spirited Away’s Haku Dragon…with that white flying cat…

    but then again….Spirited Away is just a rip of the Neverending Story…

    Kidding aside….the idea they used is clearly not very original(except for the bit of putting it in conjunction with selling coffee…which is totally original…just not very sensical).

    Personally I don’t think the art is that original or great at all. If you look at the suggested sources…they are far more artistic and original and great. In comparision this looks like a very poor watering down.

    So I’d have to lean more towards this being a rip of the style and sensibilities and ideas of Howl/Spirited Away/etc. The fact they chose to use a cartoon highlights how lazy they were as well. If they had at least done it in a different medium it wouldn’t be as obvious and reminiscent.

    I find it interesting that if this was a t-shirt or a website people would be rallying more for the originator. But for some reason this isn’t infringement?

    There was also that AT&T ad that is clearly a reference to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Gates….where they had to even include a disclaimer…

    Perhaps you can’t copyright an idea….but if you are going to reuse someone else’s idea without reference you’re not going to look that great…

  • Dear nobody,
    You are a moron, there is absolutely nothing infringed in this ad. It’s inspiration, and who gives a toss if it isn’t drawn as well, it’s a damned instant coffee commercial. Flying things and creatures that shouldn’t be flying are not Miyazaki’s ideas, either.

  • Also, we would be rallying around the creator if it were a t-shirt simply because, at least on this blog, if a t-shirt gets posted it’s usually literally a copy-paste job, with little or no original work at all. We would be going after this commercial if the girl rode around on the Catbus or if somebody showed that they had drawn that flying boat/house/castle before. They’re totally different things.

    And one last thing, there is little about this commercial that can be called “lazy” except for the derivative idea underneath.

    Have you ever actually created or observed art before, or did you just fall into this blog out of a cave?

  • Albert

    Ahh…the voice of reason and diplomacy. It’s always good to start positive dialog off with “you are a moron”.

    Go back to your bridge, you troll.

    Clearly you are new to this site, as very often posts are not clearly cut&pastes but also traces and reuse of style/concepts. Try reading blogs before you post to their comments.

    And there is an issues with uncredited inspiration. Maybe not always in a court of law, but clearly in the court of public opinion.

    If you saw McDonald’s using a Cat Bus in an ad…would that be okay?


    And if you think that is unlikely…

    Clearly that was just an idea…so no infringement was possible…right?


    Clearly it’s the style and imagination of someone else, so infringmement.

    It would only be marginally okay if they had a disclaimer saying that it bares no relation to Mizayaki. And that they acknowledge that they’ve co-opted someone else’s creativity. Like the AT&T Christo ad.

    By associating their product to the style of a well know animation artist and several of his creations they are trying to profit off of the recognition and prestige that has been established by that artist. Otherwise why bother stealing/reusing the style? And if you suggest that they didn’t know, ignorance isn’t an excuse in the eyes of the law. So even if it is synchronicity of creativity first to the plate claims the flag. Plus anyone creating in that animation style, those ideas knows exactly what they are doing and that it’s not okay in the animation field.

    Now given that the artist is very well established…and that the infringer isn’t the biggest company in the world…and probably Miyazaki doesn’t care…and that the rip isn’t an outright cut&paste or reuse….I don’t imagine them getting into legal disputes.

    But the savvy animation fan will see this and say about the coffee company exactly what I said when I read your responses…

    “What a douche”

  • Well, Im an animator and I work in advertising agencies…and this is NOT a rip.

    If YOU were animation savvy, you’d notice that:
    They are NOT the same styles (just look at the character’s eyes and facial features/structure. It is not anime, it is more realistic)
    The look is inspired by Miyazaki’s works, but it’s clear it’s not a rip

    To put it as moron-proof as I can…imagine you are the creative art director working at the agency, youre a fan of Miyazaki and animation and your coffee client all of a sudden presents you with this once in a lifetime opportunity to actually buy your idea of an animated commercial!

    You say “Man, I wanna do something really kickass, just like those movies I love and have inspired me”

    and this is what comes out.

  • Inspiration is not infringement. This is clearly not a rip. Heck, it’s not even really all that inspired from it. Certianly not from the examples you posted.

  • Nobody, you kind of blurred past the whole thing that McDonalds is not being sued for stealing an idea. They’re being sued for infringing a licensed trademark.

  • It’s not a rip but of course it’s MADE to look like Princess Mononoke or other Gibli movies. Everyone in the West will think ‘hey, I know this from that Japansese movie!’ when they see it, that’s the idea. This is like having a cartoon mouse and duck in a marin suit drink coffee.
    Can Disney sue you then? They could try, since you’re using their fame to sell your coffee, which this commercial is trying to do as well. But the commercial makers are not stupid either, they changed enough as to make it not a rip and break any copyright laws.

  • Eddie Stobart

    I don’t know much about dreary Japanese animation but I want one of those cups that doesn’t spill liquid when you use it riding on a leaping animal. Legalise fox hunting!

  • Not a rip at all. Every animator has someone who inspires and influences their work, and if I were savvy to traditional (or seemingly traditional) animation, Miyazaki would be one I’d strive to be like. He is a great artist. Besides, if you go back into the history of anime enough, you’ll find WAY more references than just Miyazaki’s glory. This is a fantastic commercial. Very original, as far as originality goes in this day and age where everything is influenced by SOMETHING, great or small.

  • Either the commercial is stupid. If I had seen that ad i would have rolled my eyes.

  • It’s rather obvious that they’ve seen the miyazaki films because having seen them all several times myself I can see the similarities in the camera angles and the shots themselves. Sure they came up with their own cat (that the character poses on just like mononoke) similarities like that are a bit ridiculous. Sure if they hadn’t copied the scenes themselves this would have been an interesting commercial, but being able to seen the exact scenes that these are copied from kinda ruins it.

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