Culture & Travel

7 December 2020

A storyteller in love with the sky: Hayao Miyazaki

As one of the most important artists Japan offered to the world, Hayao Miyazaki is a productive movie maker who undersigned dozens of movies during his five decades of professional life. Every single one of his movies is an artwork because of their unusual characters; one of their most unique features is that they bravely talk about mankind’s most basic problems on screen.  Discussing the most fundamental human problems like environmental pollution, wars, and the evil within, the Oscar-winning director is one you should meet. All movies directed by Hayao Miyazaki are hand-drawn. He emphasized this in an interview and said that “maybe this is the last time we are watching hand-made movies”. It is known that the famous director does not use computer or cellphone. In another interview, the famous director explained that old-style, hand-drawn movies add a pleasant mood to movies. According to him, his technique and color preferences make movies more realistic and deeper. 

A movie consisting of hundreds of hand-drawn pages... Each scene in the director’s movies is created after months of hard work of combining thousands of drawings. That is why movie critics consider his movies to be an oil painting that flows for two hours. 

Miyazaki was born near Tokyo in 1941. He inherited his passion for cinema from his father, who was a manager at their family company Miyazaki Airplane. This company, which is known to manufacture war planes for the Japanese during WWII, was where Miyazaki grew his passion for aviation as you can see in almost all of his movies. 

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TOP 5 MIYAZAKI FILMS
1-Spirited Away 

Dated 2001, the film is Miyazaki’s best-ever work as everyone agrees. 10-year-old Chihiro accidentally finds herself in a mysterious world and an adventure among lost souls and odd creatures. Telling the story of people lost in this capitalist order, the director won Best Animation Film Oscar with this film.

2-My Neighbor Totoro 

Originally named “Tonari No Totoro”, the anime was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film tells the story of the relationship between two sisters and forest creatures. The extraordinary hero of anime, Totoro later became the mascot of Studio Ghibli.

3-Kiki’s Delivery Service 

13-year-old Kiki must prove herself and pass a test to take over being a witch from her mother. For that, she needs to spend one year on her own. Adapted from Eiko Kadano’s novel with the same name, the film tells the story of Japanese youth and their dilemma between their commitment to their families and their independence as they grow up. 

4-Princess Mononoke 

The film is about Ashitaka’s struggle with evil creatures from the forest while she was living peacefully in her village. It tells the story of how mankind destroys the environment and the struggle between good and evil. “Mononoke” is a word used to describe spirits and monsters in Japan, and the film is one of Miyazaki’s most important. 

5-Ponyo

This warm film tells the story of a tiny goldfish and is prominent for its humane and environmental manner. The film was a blockbuster in Japan and tells the story of Ponyo’s transformation from a fish into a girl.