Hayao Miyazaki – Body of Work

Hayao Miyazaki

I must admit it; I’m a big fan of cartoons. As most people born in the ‘80s did, I went through many animated phases: Count Duckula / The Simpsons / Doug / Beavis & Butthead / Daria / Ren & Stimpy / Rocko’s Modern Life / Dexter’s Laboratory / Recess / South Park / Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends / Family Guy… We were all there. The only problem was that these never translated well onto the big screen. Only South Park Bigger, Longer & Uncut succeeded. The only good drawn-cartoon films were Disney classics from 70 odd years ago and watching them now is just a litany of racism, homophobia, and worryingly casual misogyny. So for interesting animations now we need to head abroad…

Hayao Miyazaki is the more internationally successful of the directors / writers / animators from Japan’s Studio Ghibli (fan site). The films he makes are undeniably ‘auteur’ films in the truest sense of the word as they all have recurring themes / recognisable aesthetics and are suitably bonkers. In order to enjoy them as a whole I am going to watch them chronologically and give some thoughts along the way. I may then go back and fill in the gaps from his associates, especially Isao Takahata.

I hope you enjoy the beauty and oddness of these films as much as I do…

Laputa: Castle in the Sky
My Neighbor Totoro
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Porco Rosso
Princess Mononoke
Spirited Away
Howl’s Moving Castle
Ponyo