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kottke.org posts about Hayao Miyazaki

A brief visual history of Studio Ghibli

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 26, 2017

Studio Ghibli has been making incredible animated movies since 1985. This video traces the history and the work of the studio and its principal director Hayao Miyazaki from his pre-Ghibli work (including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind) all the way up to Miyazaki’s recent unretirement & involvement in Boro the Caterpillar.

The name Ghibli was given by Hayao Miyazaki from the Italian noun “ghibli”, based on the Libyan-Arabic name for the hot desert wind of that country, the idea being the studio would “blow a new wind through the anime industry”. It also refers to an Italian aircraft, the Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli.

I still remember seeing Princess Mononoke in the theater in 1999 (having no previous knowledge of Ghibli or Miyazaki) and being completely blown away by it. Made me a fan for life. (via film school rejects)

Update: The Movies of Studio Ghibli, Ranked from Worst to Best. Happy to see Princess Mononoke in the top spot and surprised at Spirited Away’s relatively low placement.

We Work Remotely

Hayao Miyazaki is coming out of retirement

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 27, 2017

The Japan Times is reporting that legendary director Hayao Miyazaki has un-retired and is currently working on a new feature-length animated film for Studio Ghibli!

The decision comes nearly 3 1/2 years after Miyazaki, 76, announced his retirement amid persistent calls for him to make a comeback from his fans both in and outside Japan.

“He is creating it in Tokyo, working hard right now,” Toshio Suzuki, a producer at the major Japanese animation company, said Thursday on a talk show, adding he was presented by the animation maestro with the storyboard of the new film at the end of last year.

“(The storyboard) was quite exciting,” 68-year-old Suzuki said, adding, “but if I’d told him it was good, I know it would ruin my own retirement,” as making the film would dominate his life, Suzuki told the audience.

(via @garymross)

Update: Miyazaki is working on a film called Boro the Caterpillar (Kemushi no Boro), which was originally going to be a short film before the director decided it would work better at a feature length. Here are some clips and sketches from the film, which won’t be out for another couple of years.

What makes a Miyazaki film a Miyazaki film?

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 16, 2015

Lewis Bond takes a look at the work of master filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and what sets him apart from other makers of animated movies, including his work’s realism and empathy.

The possibilities of Hayao Miyazaki

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 05, 2015

From Mike Hale in the NY Times, a short appreciation of Hayao Miyazaki, among the best filmmakers of his generation.

Even at its high end, in the works of the Pixar studio or the director Henry Selick, the American children’s movie (a category that these days is pretty much congruent with the animated feature film) approaches its young viewers in a different and less rewarding way. There is always a sense of the filmmakers looking across a divide at their audience, trying with various degrees of grace or desperation to create an entertainment for them, to figure out what will keep those allegedly hyperdistracted children from losing interest.

Mr. Miyazaki cares deeply about that young audience, but you get the feeling that he doesn’t waste any time trying to guess what it wants. Like other great directors of films for and about children — Carroll Ballard (“The Black Stallion”) Steven Spielberg (“E.T.”), Alfonso Cuaron (“A Little Princess” and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”) — he inhabits the child’s point of view and directly communicates her joys, her trepidations and, perhaps most important, her endless curiosity.

Princess Mononoke on Blu-ray

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 22, 2014

Princess Mononoke

When I first saw it during the magical movie year of 1999, Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke completely blew me away. Now that it’s (finally!) out on Blu-ray1, I can’t wait to see it again. Bonus: the ability to watch in the original Japanese with English subtitles.

  1. Who out there is still buying Blu-ray? I buy one occasionally but only when I really really care about the picture quality. Otherwise, streaming off of Amazon, iTunes, or Netflix is fine.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 18, 2014

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is a documentary which presents a year in the life of Studio Ghibli and its famed director, Hayao Miyazaki. The year in question was a particularly interesting one during which Miyazaki announced his retirement. The trailer:

Granted near-unfettered access to the notoriously insular Studio Ghibli, director Mami Sunada follows the three men who are the lifeblood of Ghibli — the eminent director Hayao Miyazaki, the producer Toshio Suzuki, and the elusive and influential “other director” Isao Takahata — over the course of a year as the studio rushes to complete two films, Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. The result is a rare “fly on the wall” glimpse of the inner workings of one of the world’s most celebrated animation studios, and an insight into the dreams, passion and singular dedication of these remarkable creators.

(via @garymross)

Update: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is now available for rent/buy on Amazon and iTunes.

Pixel Miyazaki

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 09, 2014

A short and sweet pixel art tribute to legendary animator and director Hayao Miyazaki.

See also 8-bit Ghibli.

Hayao Miyazaki is retiring

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 06, 2013

Animator Hayao Miyazaki is retiring from making feature length films. At a press conference in Tokyo, he discussed why.

The director spoke about how his eye sight was getting worse, making it hard for him to create his animation. He also said how each year, he is leaving his desk earlier and earlier.

A reporter noted that Miyazaki’s official retirement statement stated that he was retiring from making feature films. “As long as I can drive,” Miyazaki replied, “I will be going to the studio every day. But if there’s thing I want to do, then I will.”

This year’s The Wind Rises will be his last feature film. My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Ponyo, and many more…that’s quite a body of work.