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Media Essays: Miraculous Ladybug Movie vs. TV Show

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It was only a matter of time before I finally did THIS vs. essay, eh?

Yeah, it was only inevitable that would do THIS kind of post. Ladies and gentlemen, it is finally time to do the comparison essay that absolutely needs to be done, and that is a comparison between two versions of Miraculous Ladybug.

Those of you who are long time followers of mine may remember I reviewed the movie last year and even did a vs. essay comparing the Agreste family with Lillie's family from Pokémon Sun and Moon in which, big shock, the latter family won that battle. So yeah, this isn't even the first vs. essay I've done with this franchise.

Now some of you might be wondering "But Media Man, it's a foregone conclusion! Everyone knows the movie is better than the show so why compare them"? And you're right, this is a ridiculously obvious outcome and it does seem a bit pointless to write this essay because I'm only telling you what everyone knows already. But that's the thing, everybody has a difference of opinion so for all we know, maybe I think differently and...

(breaks down into hysterical laughter)

Nah, of course not, I too think the movie is better and the whole point of this essay is explaining why that is. So why is the movie better than the show? What does the movie do right that the show does wrong?

Let's dive in and find out together dear readers. This is my Vs. essay on Miraculous Ladybug, the show and the movie...

Section 1: Best Story

I'm aware this is a VERY weird comparison to make because TV shows and movies have VERY different approaches to how they tell their stories but I'm going to try and compare how they execute the core concept and basic plot points of their stories and come to a conclusion. I hope that at least makes sense.

Anyway, the plot of both Miraculous media is that they star two teenagers named Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste whom gain superpowers from two items they receive, the Ladybug earrings and the Cat Ring respectively. As Ladybug and Chat Noir, the two team up together to save Paris from the evil Hawk Moth and purge the world of his wicked Akuma while he tries to seize their power for himself.

It almost seems pointless going over the show at this point since EVERYBODY and their grandparents have covered why the show's writing is so bad, so I won't dwell on it too much. The most I'll do is list the main criticisms the show gets for its writing. You've heard them all before I'm sure: bad pacing, romance that feels more annoying than endearing due to how it's constantly dragged out, atrocious character arcs, Idiot Plots galore, poor developments that makes the characters feel like they're going backwards instead of forwards, extremely questionable moral lessons and VERY questionable portrayal of parenting.

The show is almost FASCINATING at how terrible it is to the point where it feels like nearly every content creator on the internet can make some kind of video essay about it and despite pretty much covering the some points over and over, it STILL feels interesting to hear why the show is so bad! Even I'm at a loss for words that something this bad is able to exist and be a global success. Seriously, what is it with bad media being big money makers these past few decades? It's getting sad at this point. But I digress. the Miraculous show is a fascinating study in how it constantly screws up on nearly every idea it has and you really have to wonder if the writers are either really being screwed over with Thomas Astruc breathing down their necks all the time or if they're not given the time to double-check or proof-read their scripts to make sure the episodes are good because writing this bad can't be intentional. I don't want to believe it was intentional but then you hear stuff about how they planned to keep Adrien out of the final battle with Hawk Moth before the show even began and you realize "they really are that stupid". And no, I'm not making that up. The writers themselves confirmed it! When will people learn that sticking to the plan isn't always the best idea. As someone whom has been writing stories and fanfics for years, I can tell you that sometimes not sticking to the plan can benefit your story and letting the story write itself can be the way to go.

Now let's compare the movie. Granted the movie's story is nothing to write home about given how painfully generic it is, but hey, it's a MASTERPIECE compared to how the show was written! In the span of a typical movie runtime, the Miraculous movie manages to tell a more satisfying and coherent story in those 102 minutes than the show ever managed to do in FIVE whole seasons worth of episodes! It even manages to execute a lot of its ideas better than the show ever did, which I even mentioned in my review. There's less idiotic moments, the romance is actually appealing and not annoyingly dragged out, the stakes feel much bigger and more intense, Adrien isn't left out of the climax with Hawk Moth and gets to confront him, Hawk Moth doesn't get away with his actions in the end, Ladybug and Chat Noir feel more like equals and the story was overall just more fun and enjoyable as a result. It's like Jeremy Zag and his team were laser-focused on dealing with all the issues people had with the show and it paid off beautifully by giving us a better version of Miraculous Ladybug to enjoy. I'm not trying to say the story is incredible or anything, but it's amazing how with a different execution of the show's ideas and plot points, the movie managed to give us a much more enjoyable story and managed to actually make Miraculous feel appealing instead of aggravating to watch for a change. It's so amazing how two different medias can tell the same story and yet one is really good and one is really bad. Execution really is key in story-telling and the movie certainly had the right key in this case.

Does the movie have problems as well? Of course it does. It really didn't need to be a musical for starters, it's very predictable and easy to figure out what will happen, the rivalry with Ladybug and Chat Noir felt forced and the climax, well emotionally gripping, felt rushed and there should've been a bigger final battle before the end. But those problems feel MINISCULE compared to the show and they don't hurt the story too badly in the end while the show's problems practically break the story and make it unbearable to watch. There's a reason why so many fans just stopped watching as it went on with Season 3's Chameleon being the straw that broke the camel's back for many. I don't want to watch the show ever again, but I DO want to see the movie again. That should tell you how much the movie is more enjoyable by comparison and how it does its job as a form of entertainment better than the show does. The movie has me wanting to see more, the show makes me want to see less.

So with no surprise whatsoever, the media with the VASTLY superior the Miraculous movie.

MLB Movie: 1

MLB TV Show: 0

Section 2: Best Marinette/Ladybug

In both versions of Miraculous Ladybug, Marinette is, as she describes in the theme song, "just a normal girl with a normal life". But she has a secret, that being the fact she's the superheroine Ladybug.

Now when it comes to Marinette in the show, she has the same problem that every character in the show has: they start off OK or good and then as the show goes on they get worse and worse. And no, I'm NOT exaggerating when I say that. EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER in the show has this exact same problem! And Marinette is one of the worst examples of this criticism towards the show because she's our main protagonist, the one we're supposed to be rooting for and yet as the show goes on, she starts displaying very questionable and unsympathetic behaviour to the point we have to ask are we sure she's not another Akuma minion of Hawk Moth's. Some fans are even pointing out she acts more like an anti-hero than an actual hero due to her tendency to manipulate others to get what she wants, withhold information from Adrien, lie to others constantly and abuse her power to her what she wants, and all while barely being called out for her behaviour. And somehow she's supposed to be our protagonist. When the show started, Marinette was a quirky, clumsy yet cute and endearing protagonist who had a lot of personality to her and could also be very funny at times. A VERY large chunk of why she was so likeable also comes from her English voice actor, Christina Vee, whom is always giving it her all in this role and I'm so glad she's been getting more popular in recent years because of this character. It's just too bad that Marinette had to suffer the same disease as everyone else in this show and regresses as a character instead of developing.

At first, Marinette's crush on Adrien was a typical schoolgirl crush that was cliché yet kind of cute but then as the show continued, Marinette came off less like someone with a crush on Adrien and more like a deranged stalker. No joke, she's memorized Adrien's entire daily routine to the LAST detail and there's also those infamous moments where she sniffed his pillows when in his bedroom one time (no, I'm not making that up!) or when she came across what she thought was an Adrien statue, she started acting very...creepily towards him. Isn't that...charming? (sarcasm) It really got to the point where Marinette comes off as creepy rather than cute and you end up thinking Adrien is better off without her, and in a romance story, we shouldn't be thinking that. And then there's how her name may as well be "Mary-Sue" with how much she's written like one in the show. Whenever Marinette and Adrien get a power-up, Marinette ALWAYS nails it on the first try, she's ALWAYS more competent than Adrien is during a battle, she's always handed new information ahead of anyone else, she's always right regardless of the situation and anyone who disagrees with her or thinks she's wrong is either a bully, the villain or a strawman that exists purely to make her look better. While Marinette does have flaws, they really ever seem to get her into trouble much and even when they do, characters will often tell her how awesome she is and that it wasn't her fault or anything like that. Sorry Thomas Astruc, but this isn't how you make a likeable superhero character. How can I enjoy a character who acts like a creepy stalker and is just so gosh-darn awesome that anyone who says otherwise is just wrong to think so?

And let's not get started on how she got progressively dumber to the point where in the Season 5 finale, she lets Gabriel make his wish and get away with his crimes in the end and thinks keeping this stuff from Adrien, the boy she's supposed to be in love with, is a good idea. If Adrien finds out about this and hates you for it Marinette, don't expect me to feel sorry for you. Your own stupidity will bring you big consequences I don't think you're ready for...

Now let's compare how she is in the movie. Now of course, Movie Marinette isn't anything special as she's just the generic protagonist who has a very generic arc but hey, at least she isn't unlikeable like in the show! Movie Marinette lacks the problematic tendencies the show one has. Her crush on Adrien isn't creepy in any way, her flaws actually do cause trouble for her and make her struggle, she isn't an idiot and she's certainly not a Mary-Sue either. She feels more like a proper protagonist as a result of the writing here and it shows just how Marinette could be a really likeable character when done right. I found her very endearing in the movie and I like how she felt more human as a result. Marinette in the show feels very idealized whereas Marinette in the movie feels more relatable if you get what I mean. I also can't help but feel this Marinette feels more mature than the show version at times. How is it Marinette in the movie feels like a smarter and more down-to-earth person than in the show despite having five seasons worth of episodes to develop her character? Marinette by the end of the movie felt much stronger and like she's actually changed for the better. She grew more confident, has a positive attitude change with how she's less insecure about herself and is able to act on her feelings towards Adrien. Marinette over the course of the show's five seasons is still a klutz, has gotten brattier in her attitude, displays moments of hypocrisy and has gotten dumber to the point she let Hawk Moth win in the end. Oh and Movie Marinette acts more like a hero than TV Marinette does because she doesn't display any of the unheroic traits TV Marinette has.

It's barely even a contest here. The superior incarnation of Marinette Dupain-Cheng/ the movie version.

MLB Movie: 2

MLB TV Show: 0

Section 3: Best Adrien/Chat Noir

In both medias, Adrien is the wisecracking, suave and comedic partner who fights crime alongside Ladybug as Chat Noir. He is the yang to Ladybug's yin with how Ladybug has powers of healing and creation and Chat Noir has the power of destruction.

Given how Marinette was handled in the show, is Adrien handled any better?

I think J. Jonah Jameson has the perfect response to that question.

You'll find MASSES of content talking about how badly the show handles Adrien and how out of him and Marinette, he DEFINITELY got the short end of the stick. I don't even know what I can say that nobody else has already said at this point. You've heard all the criticisms about Adrien before: he lacks screentime compared to Marinette, the show is too overly-focused on her compared to him, despite them supposedly being "equals", she's overly competent and he's overly incompetent, he becomes more bratty and entitled as the show goes on, he rarely ever learns from his mistakes, he can't get the hint that Ladybug isn't into him (despite Marinette being into his civilian self) and he's a doormat to ridiculous extremes to the point he thinks NOT exposing Lila as a liar was the right move to make and had the gall to be shocked when it didn't work. In the show, Adrien comes off as too passive when it comes to people like his father, Chloe and Lila to the point it feels like he's less an idealistic guy who sees the good in everyone and more of a naïve idiot who can't get the hint that these people are bad and there's no defending them. What's even worse is a lot of the time when he does stand up to Gabriel, he's the one that's wrong to do so and the story makes it out that we're supposed to side with Gabriel in this situation. Yes, the abusive father who uses his wife's condition as an excuse to do evil things is the one we're supposed to sympathise with and his son's wrong for objecting to his abuse. Great lesson for the kids watching your show, am I right Miraculous Ladybug?

And then there's how unbalanced the team structure is here. The point of Ladybug and Chat Noir is that they're equals that compliment one another, two halves making a whole to fight crime together, the yin and yang to one another. And what happens in the show? Adrien is constantly getting his ass kicked and getting possessed, captured or incapacitated in some way so Ladybug can save the day in the end. There's BARELY ever a time where Adrien saves the day, it's pretty much always Ladybug doing so and all it does is make us wonder why even have him around at all if he's so useless? It's like how in Pokémon Horizons, we have two protagonists with Liko and Roy yet only Liko of them is useful to the story and feels well implemented while Roy feels like a spare part. Except even that show balances its two protagonists better than Miraculous does with its two protagonists! Adrien is so inferior to Marinette that it reeks of double standards. They preach about "teamwork" and how the two work best when together and yet Ladybug is super competent while Chat Noir is constantly needing his ass saving. If the roles had been reversed, people would be crying sexism but somehow, it's OK when the woman is competent, and the man is incompetent. And Thomas Astruc and his followers say WE'RE the sexist ones here? (rolls eyes)

It really sucks because Adrien CLEARLY has the more interesting story compared to Marinette, yet he's treated like trash and the writers clearly think he's so unimportant that they literally planned it from the start that he wouldn't be part of the final battle against Hawk Moth. It'll be like if Pokémon Horizons has a series finale where we catch up with Black Rayquaza and have a grand final battle against it but Roy's left out of the conflict despite his entire story being about finding it and catching it again, it's just a grossly disrespectful way to handle a character and shows a fundamental lack of understanding how story-telling works on the most BASIC levels. If your hero has a connection to the villain as big as Adrien and Gabriel's connection together, then that hero must always be part of the final confrontation and shouldn't be left out of it while their friend does the heavy lifting instead, otherwise why even make them connected at all?

This among many other things is why the movie version is once again the superior incarnation of Adrien Agreste. In the movie, Adrien is more respectful of Ladybug's boundaries, he's less of a buffoon, is more helpful to Ladybug, is more sympathetic and lacks the negative traits of his cartoon self, he isn't a naïve imbecile and most importantly: he gets to be a part of the final battle with Hawk Moth! He's not left out of the action in the movie, he's there front and centre with Ladybug challenging Hawk Moth and fighting him for the fate of Paris and the two even get to find out who either one is, which is ultimately what brings the fight to a close. This Adrien was able to get his father to stop committing crimes and saved all of Paris as a result! Show Adrien's lucky if he could even get close enough to Hawk Moth to do that! Oh and Movie Adrien isn't seen as wrong for standing up to his father unlike in the show. That's a major plus to his character too. It once again amazes me how two different medias tell the same story with the same characters and yet one is done really badly and the other is done really well. It really goes to show that with these characters, it depends on who's writing them, doesn't it?

So the property with the VASTLY superior version of Adrien/Chat the movie version. As if I needed to say it.

MLB Movie 3

MLB TV Show: 0

Section 4: Best Gabriel/Hawk Moth

I bet nobody reading this essay is expecting the show's Hawk Moth to win this match, and you're right to expect as such. Once again, it feels pointless to even go into why one's better than the other but hey, we're on the final category so let's finish off.

Hawk Moth was a villain who made a very intimidating and creepy first impression with his akuma powers and how he was able to commit all his crimes without anyone having any idea on where to find him as he did his dirty dealings secretly. And yet like every other character in this miserable excuse for a TV show, he starts off strong and fails to live up to his potential. Over time, Hawk Moth stopped being intimidating and instead came off as pretty pathetic with how over the course of five seasons, he kept screwing up on the one job he had and constantly getting out-witted by a pair of teenagers. He's the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. And even when he tries to do something different, he still screws up royally to the point he needed an outside force like Felix to do the job for him! Remember how in Season 4, it was thanks to Felix that Hawk Moth got the other Miraculous? Yeah, this guy is such a loser that he needed somebody else who doesn't even work for him to steal something for him! And come Season 5, he has all the powers of the Miraculous at his disposal and...still screws up constantly and makes idiotic decisions. Like how did it never occur to him that he could just simply use the Rabbit Miraculous to go back in time and prevent his wife's condition from ever happening? Oh wait, it DID occur to him and yet he abandons the plan pretty quickly and still focuses on getting Ladybug and Chat Noir's Miraculous! Why does he do that when has the superior solution to his problems RIGHT THERE?! You don't need their Miraculous anymore, you can just use the Rabbit Miraculous to solve all your problems!

And to show how pathetic this guy is, the only reason he even wins in the end is not because he's a cunning villain who played everyone for a sucker, it's because Marinette was too dumb to live and fell for an obvious trick he pulled on her! So yeah, he's the kind of badly written villain where he needs the heroes to be idiots in order for him to win in the end! That doesn't make your villain look competent or clever or threatening, it makes them look pathetic! They shouldn't need the hero to be an idiot in order for them to succeed in their goals!

And as everybody else comments on, Hawk Moth in the show is one of those badly written villains where he's as evil as evil gets and yet somehow we're supposed to feel sorry for him. Yes, the guy who has brainwashed masses of people, including an ACTUAL BABY, has terrorized Paris again and again, has fired a missile towards America and is constantly trying to steal from teenagers is the guy we're supposed to feel sorry for. I couldn't give any amount of damns in the world about this guy. I don't care that his wife's in a coma and he misses her, that's not an excuse for him to essentially become a supervillain terrorist and do horrible things! And are you seriously expecting us to feel sorry for this guy after the way he treats Adrien? I can't believe I have to say this, but abuse is abuse even if it's not physical. Gabriel. IS. ABUSIVE. He's neglectful, he's emotionally manipulative, he's too controlling and he constantly expects Adrien to just stay in line and follow orders. And then there's Season 5 where he goes so far as put Adrien through white torture, which if you must know is a form of psychological torture in where you're locked in a completely white room that's meant to deprive you of your senses and identity. Cause yeah, nothing says love for one's child like...psychological torture am I right? Can you see why fans were so enraged when this asshole got away with everything in the end? This is the kind of guy who should've lost it all and got his just desserts in the end!

And what honestly ruined Gabriel for me was the fact that the show tried to make it a twist that he was Hawk Moth. All that did was contradict his motivations and make him seem like a different character than what we saw in Season 1. In Season 1, he just wants to take over the world but then the twist behind his identity is revealed and suddenly his motivation is to save his dying wife. It's like they had to change his motivations between seasons just to try and preserve the twist that he's Hawk Moth...a twist that didn't even work in the first place since it was obvious from the VERY FIRST EPISODE that he was Hawk Moth so why did they try to make it a twist when everybody predicted it so easily? All the twist did was make Hawk Moth inconsistent and even more confusing as a villain because all his villainous monologues from before the reveal don't add up to his actual motivations!

Now once again, let's see how the movie version fares up. Gabriel/Hawk Moth is a more credible villain in the movie. He's not an idiot, he doesn't come off as pathetic and is easily more threatening here what with how quickly he ups his game after he fails a few times and during the climax, he practically throws both heroes around like rag dolls and has them battered and at his mercy! If it wasn't for the fact Adrien was Chat Noir, he could've potentially won! While he does have that theatrical musical number which does lower his menacing factor a little, Hawk Moth still comes off as more dangerous and threatening than in the show, especially helped with how he's more competent at what he does and as mentioned earlier, he came closer to winning without help from anyone. He didn't need someone to do the job for him or the heroes to be idiots for him to come close to succeeding, he just upped his game, got in on the action himself and as a result, he nearly won. And then there's how Movie Hawk Moth reacts to finding out his son is Chat Noir. When show Hawk Moth finds out, he tries to exploit the crap out his son and makes him an akuma minion to do his bidding. When movie Hawk Moth finds out, he stops the fight and is apologetic for his actions. This Hawk Moth is able to see when he goes too far and how his actions nearly cost him his son's life and so he gives up. This makes movie Hawk Moth way more sympathetic than show Hawk Moth by a country mile. This Hawk Moth isn't a lost cause and is able to draw the line eventually whereas show Hawk Moth doubles down on his evil actions, has no lines he won't cross and is still somehow meant to be sympathetic. I just don't get how Thomas Astruc and his team ever thought we'd feel sorry for this guy because his actions make him impossible to sympathize with. In the movie, this isn't the case.

So the media with the superior version of Gabriel Agreste/Hawk the movie version.

MLB Movie: 4

MLB TV Show: 0


This is the result everybody should've seen coming. The TV show is so badly written and incompetently handled that no s*** it couldn't win a single round. The movie is just objectively better in every way compared to the show. The story, the romance, the characters, the execution of its ideas, the villain, the gender equality, EVERYTHING is just better handled in the movie and the movie is an example of Miraculous Ladybug when it's given to the right people. This franchise has potential to be something incredible and at least we have the movie to prove that the show isn't built on a bad idea and that it's only the execution that made it suffer. If the franchise can be more like the movie and less like the show, then Miraculous Ladybug can truly give us something that actually feels miraculous...

And that's all I have for this post. I hope you enjoyed it and found it an interesting comparison between the two mediums. Feel free to share your opinions down below. Do you prefer the movie or the TV show? Do you agree or disagree with my points here? Do tell me.

Next week I'll be reviewing the Amazon Prime hit streaming series, Hazbin Hotel. See you then media fans!

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2 則留言

Of course there would be no competition and the movie would take the win.


You make some good comparisons here in describing the negative show and movie's positives, including how you best describe the differences between movie Marinette and show Marinette. and hey, you threw in the Jameson laugh XD

Though there's a few spelling errors in this like how you call Adrien's ring a Car Ring, and you say "How is your hero meant to be clever or intimidating?" in describing Hawkmoth, and Hawkmoth did try using time travel to stop Emillie from going into a coma but he was dumb enough to not go through with it because he still wanted Ladybug and Chat Noir's Miraculouses.

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