Last week some big news became known, Hayao Miyazaki announced the end of his filmmaking career.
The honor of paying tribute to this great and well-known mangaka, producer, writer, screenwriter and director through an overview of his movies and give you a little of my opinion on them, is all mine. As a big fan of Studio Ghibli movies I feel flattered to be able to write a piece about this.
For everyone who’s a bit of a fan of animation films the name Hayao Miyazaki should sound familiar. Although the name of his Studio Ghibli is possible more well-known, it is this man who made animation movies in his not very typical Japanese Style became and still are very popular. His movies distinguish themselves with their rare animation style and the stories who are all full of different themes, from magic to love to simple daily occurrences and environmentalism. More than 50 years Hayao has been contributing to creation anime films that stole the hearts of anime film lovers time and time again.
Miyazaki started his career at Toei animation in 1961, where he made a contribution to many different animation movies. For 10 years he worked there, until he got the opportunity to produce his first film by working together with different parties. The movies Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (1979) and Nausicaä of The Valley Of The Wind (1984) are examples of this. After achieving a big success in Japan with his next movie Princess Mononoke he decided to start Studio Ghibli with his colleague Isao Takahata. Despite only achieving his fame in the west after the release of Princess Mononoke, I think we all know what came next.
Below you’ll find an overview of a few movies that Hayao Miyazaki made or collaborated on with others. For a lot of you there will be some familiar names in there, others might be less known with by general public. Because the repertoire of Hayao Miyazaki is so diverse the overview will consist of 2 parts.
Hayao’s debute film. He didn’t only direct this one but he was also the screenwriter.
The movie revolves around the masterthief Arséne Lupin from the manga series Lupin III. The movie starts with a casino being robbed, after which Lupin discovers the money that was stolen was fake and he decides to further investigate the theft. Of course there are a lot of other events to look forward to in this movie.
Miyazaki also collaborated on an anime series that revolves around the same character.
A movie based on his own eponymous manga from 1982.
Nausicaä tells the story of the young princess names Nausicaä, her kingdom is The Valley Of The Wind. She gets into a conflict with Tolmekia, a kingdom that’s trying to destroy mutated giant insects from the jungle by using an ancient weapon. It’s up to Nausicaä to stop the Tolmekians before they incur the wrath of these creatures.
Laputa: Castle In The Sky (1986)
The first movie of the Studio Ghibli label, written and directed by Miyazaki himself.
This movie is centered around the legend of Laputa, the castle in the sky that was left there from a time when people built cities in the sky, but these cities were destroyed by an unknown disaster. The girl names Sheeta appears to be the only living decendant of Laputa and together with the boy named Pazu, who wants to prove Laputa is still there, she goes on an adventure to escape from people with the wrong motivations to try to find the city in the sky.
Personally I thought it was a fun movie to watch. There’s plenty of tension and storyline in the movie to stay interested. The main character is a young girl who along the way learns who she can trust and what her true goal is.
A very adorable and innocent movie that follows the little girls named Satsuki and Mei, who move to an old house with their father to be closer to the hospital their mother is recovering in. One day Mei discovers a few creatures who look like bunnies and decide to follow them to a place deeper into the woods where she eventually finds Totoro. The start of a cute adventure for these two girls.
I wouldn’t call this movie very exciting, it’s mainly a very sweet movie. This is one of the movies where you won’t run into a bad guy but you are confronted with the sad feelings of these girls who miss their mother.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Kiki is a young witch who is at the age where she has to leave the nest and discover and develop her talents as a witch. Together with her talking cat she leaves and starts working for the wife of a baker. She gets to experience a lot of new things and people and has a lot of fun. The only thing she needs to look out for is that she doesn’t lose sight of her goal…
A very fun movie that is definitely worth re-watching. A fun theme with some magic on the side, but the focus isn’t on magic.
Porco Rosso (1992)
A movie about an Italian ex-militairy and veteran who became famous during World War One. At the moment he works as a freelance Air Pirate hunter who lives a life of luxury and is known as Porco Rosso. Once his name was Marco Pagot but a curse made him transform into a pig.
These were a few of the movies Haya Miyazaki earned his biggest successes with. Aside from this list there are many other animated works he has contributed to or produced himself. Some of which I will feature in my next blog. I’d like to thank you for reading and would love it if you’d all read the sequel to this overview that’ll be posted tomorrow.
Click here for part 2 of this tribute to Hayao Miyazaki.