Who is he?
Ultra-popular Japanese animator, graphic artist, screenwriter, film director and producer who has directed over 20 feature films, shorts and television series since the early Seventies. His film Spirited Away (2002) won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, becoming the only animated work to ever win the coveted award. In 1985, Miyazaki co-founded the famed animation house Studio Ghibli, which has produced his films ever since.
Why is he of interest?
Some of the most prominent current day animation filmmakers and video game designers across the world cite Miyazaki to be a major shaping force. Pixar studio, especially, has demonstrated its indebtedness to the Japanese director either in or outside their films. The testament to his success is evident from the fact that, for many in the West, Miyazaki’s body of work is the face of Japanese animation.
Where to discover him?
Hallucinatory, endlessly imaginative and instantly lovable, My Neighbour Totoro (1988) follows the adventures of two pre-teen girls in the forest around their new house, where they discover the existence of the eponymous gentle giant. Perhaps Miyazaki’s finest achievement, the film’s childlike inventiveness and artlessness belies its incisive exploration of childhood apprehensions and depiction of how children cope with a harsh and incomprehensible world.