It has been a long long journey for Hayao Miyazaki, the father and the pioneer of Japanese animation films, shortly called as Anime. With his studio, Ghibli, coming into being in the year 1985, Miyazaki films have conquered the Japanese film industry since then. Interestingly, Miyazaki retired long ago but has come back to delight his audience. As he retires, yet once again, he has made another classic, How do you live? for the one last time. Those of you who are already a fan of his films and even those of you who plan on it would definitely know that Miyazaki’s films are not just any cartoon movie but a tender humanizing emotional picture highlighting the visions of humanity and loving the nature in anime.
His films are characterized by big-eyed characters, centering the theme on the human-nature relationship and spotlighting the Japanese culture of Shinto religion. The woman is normally placed as the leads of the films, the protagonists.
The beauty of these films lies in the children friendly themes in a backdrop of world issues with a conclusion of resolving every dispute in a peaceful manner. The pacifism and optimism centered concepts are purely outstanding.
Another stunner of the Miyazaki classics is the use of aviation, which keeps recurring in his films. The obsession of airplanes of Hayao Miyazaki is quite visible in each of the movies. And of course, the eccentric characters, who are adventurous and fun loving, attract the children and teenagers in every possible way.
For the nonwatchers of Miyazaki works, check out some masterly creations of the legend in a list below, for getting inspired.
- 1. Castle in the sky
- 2. Spirited away
- 3. Princess Mononoke
- 4. Kiki’s delivery service
- 5. My neighbour Totoro
- 6. Nausicaa՛of the valley of the winds
- 7. Boro, the caterpillar
- 8. The secret life of Arrietty
- 9. Mr. Dough and Egg princess
- 10. Panda!Ko, Panda
- 11. The wind rises
- 12. Tales from the Earthsea
- 13. Caslte of Cagliostro
- 14. Howl’s moving castle
1. Castle in the sky
It won the Animage anime Grand prix in 1986. The first exemplary work of Miyazaki under Ghibli studio. Story of a young boy and girl who are on a quest to save a Magical Crystal from a military group and adventuring to find a floating castle. Highlights the importance of courage and teamwork with a little violent spree but nothing so demeaning. Great work, great animation!
2. Spirited away
The highest grossing film in Japanese cinema of the time and winning best animation film in the 75th Academy Awards. Spirited away is a highly acclaimed animation work till date. Pure fantasy with spirits, magic, witches and the cuteness of a 10-year-old girl, out on a quest to return back to the human world from the spirit world where she gets trapped. You need to watch it to love it.
3. Princess Mononoke
Another commercial success of Japanese box-office. A beautiful fantasy with a fine show-off of human-nature dependence. The story outlines the pursuit of a prince to pacify the gods, who went angry from humans who destroyed the forests for their selfish needs. The amazing work opened its market doors outside Japan. Mesmerizing work of focus on the social issue of disability and confuting the political stereotypes is the mainstay of the picture. A no-miss for animation lovers.
4. Kiki’s delivery service
A pretty tale of a young witch who engages herself to earn a living for herself, delivering goods swooshing around the city, wait...on a broom! Work is full of excitement, adventure, and friendship. It won the Aminage Anime Grand Prix prize and was under a 15-year distribution by Walt Disney. Also, this film is receiving a makeover in a Hollywood version. Cat lovers will adore it as Kiki’s pet cat, jiji, is just too cute.
5. My neighbour Totoro
Centering around two young daughters of a professor and their friendly interaction with spirits of the rural woods. Conferred with a number of awards and prizes, this is another blue ribbon of Miyazaki films. Endowed with beautiful landscapes, this picture is an enchanting treat. The storyline of Miyazaki’s every film is an out-of-box concept, deviating from the usual. Watch it to believe it.
6. Nausicaa՛of the valley of the winds
An environment centric masterpiece created by Miyazaki before his studio came into being. His first actual animation film in a way. It tells the tale of a princess who wants to resolve an ongoing war between an ancient kingdom and mutant insects captured jungle, in a peaceful manner. Said to have been inspired by many literary works, including Lord of the Rings and Odyssey, this film is a beautiful portrayal of the human-nature relationship.
7. Boro, the caterpillar
Hayao Miyazaki returns from his retirement to create another magical tale, Boro the caterpillar. Short story of a recently hatched caterpillar who makes his way in the world with other older caterpillars. Released in March 2018, I won't be the spoiler here, check out this adorable film by yourself.