Have you heard of the name, Hayao Miyazaki before? Well, if you love Japanese animated films then perhaps you have heard about him. If not, then let me introduce you to one of Japan’s finest animation artists of all time. Hayao Miyazaki is not just an animator and anime director but he is also a screenwriter, manga artist, storyboard artist, author and illustrator of many Japanese cartoons in the past. He has made his mark in the world of animation by creating movies like Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, Laputa: Castle In The Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo, alongside many other noted Japanese animation artists in Studio Ghibli. Even up to this day, he continues to please many fans worldwide with his work.
Hayao Miyazaki is one of the co-founders of the Japanese studio named Studio Ghibli. The studio was discovered in 1985. The studio continues to create Japanese animation which are not just being shown in Japan but around the world as well. Hayao Miyazaki’s animation usually focuses on female characters. Each of them have unique personalities and all of them have a story to share. They all encounter many different adventures and predicaments in his films which makes them interesting. His characters meet many different strange characters along the way. They range from talking animals, strange mythical creatures as well as odd looking humans. Most of his stories also show a sense of environmentalism and at the end of all his films, you will come to realize that there is a lesson in all of them. His work often leaves people emotional toward the end. His work is a breathe of fresh air in the industry as his work doesn’t focus on violence alone but on other more important factors as well.
His work reflects many aspects in his life. He is considered an environmentalist because of his work but it is mainly because he grew up in an era when nature had to be destroyed to make way for technology and economic progress. Most of the time his cartoons doesn’t show an active villain as he does not believe in the stereotypes of good and evil. Normally, he wants to show his audience a positive outlook in life no matter how pessimistic he is in real life. Hayao Miyazaki is also considered a feminist as in most of his films, he shows how strong and capable women are. Such ideals are not common and they go against the gender roles in Japan. Hayao Miyazaki makes sure that he completes the balance between hand drawn animation and computer produced animation. There should always be a balance to both as it is somehow Studio Ghibli’s trademark.
Hayao Miyazaki combines realism with fantasy as his characters all continue to live their daily lives in the stories only with a slight twist of being in a fantasy world. These days, English versions of the beloved Japanese animated films have been introduced to other countries. With the help of Disney, more and more are getting exposed to the wonderful world of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyasaki. Whether or not, he will continue to create more Japanese masterpieces remains to be seen. He is currently 71 years old but I don’t see him slowing down any time soon. I just hope that the new generation will also discover the genius behind Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli as I’m sure if they won’t then they would be missing a huge part of Japanese animation culture and history.