Difference Between Mime and Pantomime

Mime vs Pantomime

Mime and Pantomime are art forms that often confuse people because of their similar names that rhyme. However, the two are different from one another, and one should not confuse panto with mime. This article takes a closer look at the two theatrical art forms.


Mime is an art where the performer tells a story or acts out a scene without saying a word. All the feelings and emotions are expressed through facial gestures, and not a single word is uttered by a mime artist. Though French are known for this art form, it is traced back to the Roman times. The art spread to Italy and later to France. In ancient times, Greek mime actors wore masks and performed in front of audiences. Today, mime is any performance where the actor remains silent while conveying his feelings. Body language is the crucial part of mime, and the performances of a mime actor can be really moving if the actor is an expert and experienced.


Pantomime is an art form that makes use of bodily movements and facial expressions for communication of feelings and emotions. Often there is music in the background to make for a dramatic performance. To differentiate with mime, pantomime is sometimes referred to as simply panto. Pantomime actors wore masks to make it rather more difficult to express feelings as they became completely dependent upon hand movements. Pantomime performances are common in UK and are seen during Christmas and New Year. These are family comedies with insinuations of sex that also contain lots of jokes, slapstick, and even cross design to regale the audiences.

What is the difference between Mime and Pantomime?

• Mime and pantomime require actors to express feelings or narrate stories through bodily movements.

• Mime was an art form that originated in the ancient Roman times and later spread to Italy and France.

• Pantomime is today performed in UK during Christmas and New Year. They are family comedies and contain loud performances.

• Bharatnatyam is a dance and drama form of India that is considered to be very ancient type of pantomime.

• Pantomime requires actors to wear masks to make it more difficult for them to express feelings.

• Pantomime is also called panto to differentiate it from mime.

• Pantomime is considered louder than mime.

• Mime is the word used to refer to mime artists too.

• Gender swapping is common in pantomime.