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Hayao Miyazaki, The Great Japanese Animator April 15, 2011

Posted by leskanturek in Animation, Art History, Movable Illustration, Political and Social Art, Student Blog posts, Student Post, Visual Narrative.
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Post by Emily Ho

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Anime and manga artists from Japan are known world-wide for produ­cing extraordinary work. One famous and considered legendary Japanese animator is Hayao Miyazaki. He is internationally renowned in the field of animation and his history of projects shows how well the audience receives his work. An example would be his sales for the film Princess Mononoke, in 1997, which was known as the highest-grossing film in Japan. Even though Titanic cast a shadow on Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away brought Miyazaki back to the top spot when it was released in 2001.

(above) Hayao Miyazaki

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Hayao Miyazaki was born in Akebono-cho Japan on January 5, 1941. He is a film director, animator, storyboard artist, character designer, screenwriter, and a manga artist. With his multiple skills, he and Isao Takahata co-founded Studio Ghibli, which still runs to this day.

Miyazaki’s animation films all consider a large variety of things such as the research, storyline, quality and detail of art, compositions, perspectives and the development of characters for the film to be successful. He is also known to mainly create his animations in the traditional way, which is by hand. It is remarkable how immensely detailed and accurate in depicting reality in the fantasy world is like in his films.

(above) Two stills from the film Princess Mononoke

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Princess Mononoke is an animation where Miyazaki produced very vibrant, full of perspective and detailed artwork. Many of his films are “reflective about the human condition” such as Princess Mononoke, where the film questions about how humans destroy and pollute nature. Miyazaki conveyed that idea by showing if nature had a voice and was personified with animals, how would people confront and interact with them. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind shows the destruction that bugs can bring when humans pollute their environment. Castle in the Sky is also another animation where it illustrates how greed can bring destruction.

(aboveNausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

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(above) Castle in the Sky

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A couple of Miyazaki’s films are playful and fun, dealing with confidence, finding oneself, independence, and interactions with nature. The examples of movies are Spirited Away, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, and My Neighbor Totoro.

(above) Two stills from Spirited Away

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(above) Two stills from Howl’s Moving Castle 

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(above) A scene from Ponyo

(above) My Neighbor Totoro


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