Hayao Miyazaki,

Hayao Miyazaki,

Animator - Advanced


H ayao Miyazaki is most well-known for his work with Ghibli Studios as a director, producer, writer and animator. Miyazaki was born on January 5th 1941 in Tokyo, Japan. His father worked for a company that built airplane parts. This exposure to airplanes influenced Hayao greatly. Many of his stories and films involve air travel. Despite his love for planes and animation, Hayao studied economics at university. After graduating in 1963, Hayao started working at Toei Animations. There he met his lifelong friend and future business partner Takahata Isao. He also met his future wife, Ota Akemi. He worked on projects such as “Wolf Boy Ken” and “The Great Adventure of Horus” during his time at Toei, but left in 1971.

After leaving Toei Hayao and Isao worked together on several animation projects including, “Panda! Go Panda!” and Miyazaki’s first full-length film, “Lupin III – Castle of Cagliostro”. During this time Miyazaki also wrote the Japanese comic, “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”. In 1984 a movie was released based off of the comic. This success led Miyazaki and Takahata to start Studio Ghibli the very next year.

In 1986 Studio Ghibli released their first film, “Castle in the Sky” in Japan and “Nausicaa” was released in the United States as “Warriors of the Wind”. While “Castle in the Sky” was enjoyed by Japanese moviegoers, the American version of “Nausicaa” was not well liked. Poor voice acting and confusing edits changed the feeling of the original film. However, Studio Ghibli continued making their art, releasing “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Grave of Fireflies” in Japan just two years later. The success of the Totoro film and its merchandise made Studio Ghibli a financial success. In 1989 “Kiki’s Delivery Service” was released.

Their next project, “Porco Rosso” was originally meant to be a short movie to be shown on Japan Airlines flights but was released in 1992 as a full-length film. It was the number one film in Japan that year. Studio Ghibli’s next film, ‘Princess Mononoke”, became the highest earning film in Japanese history and was the first animated film to win Best Picture for the Japan Academy Prize. However “Mononoke’s” record for most money earned was broken several months later by “Titanic”.

In 2001 Miyazaki’s film, “Spirited Away” broke the record “Titanic” had stolen. It also won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and is often ranked as the best-animated movie ever made. In 2004 “Howl’s Moving Castle” was released. The English version of this movie featured voice acting by Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Jean Simmons and Emily Mortimer.

More films followed including, “Ponyo” in 2008, “The Secret World of Arrietty” in 2010, “From Up on Poppy Hill” in 2011 and “The Wind Rises in 2013”. Miyazaki won an honorary Oscar in 2015 for his work.

Source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Miyazaki-Hayao

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