Thursday, October 13, 2011

Miyazaki Hayao

During my 7 years of living in Tokyo, Japan, I grew up watching Ghibli Studio movies. They would eventually be known in America as the studio who created major motion animation movies such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. I would go to the movies every time the studio produced another movie. Director, producer, and art director Miyazaki Hayao almost singlehandedly wrote every story that Ghibli Studio produced whether it was a short motion picture or feature length film after he co-founded the studio in 1984. He produced numerous movies that climbed to the top of Japan’s film charts as the highest glossing films

again and again. The success of his movies, I believe, lies in the depth of plot and the quality of the artwork. Miyazaki’s attention to detail over every part of the film is evident, as there is not a single moment when the artwork is not the very best or the flow of the story is not smooth.

Miyazaki Hayao started out as a manga artist. After a few years of moderately successful manga career, he began to work for animation studios. After producing dozens of successful storylines for animation movies, he paired up with his longtime friend to find a studio of his own – Ghibli. There he welcomed enormous success. By producing films of top quality he established himself and the studio apart from other animation studios in Japan, which was quite a feat as animation studios are abundant in japan. The ghibli studio in japan could be called akin to pixar or Disney in America.

What captivated me about these movies were the artwork and plot. The simple yet expressive style of his artwork makes the characters relatable to audiences of all ranges. The artwork in these movies are that of Miyazaki’s. he personally review every single slide of the handdrawn animation cels in order to make sure his staff’s drawings are up to par with his. The fact he sticks to traditional hand drawn cel slides to make his films is admirable. He only relies on modern graphic technology to enhance hand drawn slides, not to replace them. He takes part in every step of the production, meticulously perfecting each and every slide. Contrast to other animators who compete to showcase the best use of technology. By remaining true to the traditional method all of the films have unity and continuity.

Works Cited

Cavallaro, Dani. The Animé Art of Hayao Miyazaki. Jefferson, NC: McFarland &, 2006. Print.

White, Donna J. "The Art of Miyazaki." University of Buffalo: The State University of New York. University of Buffalo. Web. age.htm>.

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