Hayao Miyazaki

by Alanna Pellecchia

Introduction

I chose this animator because I really like the way he does his characters. They’re really well done, and they have a sort of realistic atmosphere that most other animated characters don’t have. The studio he founded, Studio Ghibli, has an almost unreal look about it. The area that the building is in is breathtaking, and the studio itself is cozy and welcoming.

Hayao Miyazaki was born in Tokyo on January 5, 1941. He was the second of four children. When he was very young, his family relocated to Utsunomiya due to the unstable situation in Tokyo. Miyazaki started his elementary education at an institution in Utsunomiya and later moved to various other schools such as ‘Eifuku Elementary School’ and ‘Omiya Junior High’. He loved manga and animated films since he was a child. Miyazaki moved to the ‘Gakushuin University’ located in Tokyo, where he started pursuing his higher studies. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science in 1963. He began pursuing animation in that same year, working on projects like ‘Wolf Boy Ken’ and ‘Watchdog Bow Bow’. In 1971, he moved from ‘Toei Animation Pvt Ltd’, where he was then working, to  an animation firm called ‘A Pro’, and began working on numerous other projects, including ‘Anne of Green Gables’. The year 1984 saw the release of the animated film ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the wind’. The movie was well-received by the audiences and critics, since it explored many themes such as the environment as well as feminism. Hayao next worked on the project ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’, which released in the year 1986. He then worked on projects like ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ and ‘My Neighbor Totoro’. He retired for about a decade, and then began producing again in 2004. He took over ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ after its original director, Mamoru Hosuda, passed away. After a 3-year hiatus from filmmaking, Hayao surfaced with a project named ‘Gake no ue no ponyo’. This feature-length film, which was released in 2008, was well-received and grossed approximately $200 million at the box-office. Hayao’s last directorial venture was the film titled ‘The Wind Rises’, which released in 2013. The film dealt with a series of events which occurred during World War II.

Biography

Totoro- My Neighbor Totoro

Mononoke-Princess Mononoke

No-Face-Spirited Away

Characters