The Return of Hayao Miyazaki

Camilla Mischka, Managing Editor

In 1989 Hayao Miyazaki released his first Studio Ghibli film. Kiki’s Delivery Service went on to become one of the most loved movies of all time. Right after the release, the animation feature became the third highest grossing films in Japan. Although the film was a huge success, Miyazaki did not stop there. He continued to create wonderful films filled with great emotion and meaning. For example, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, and so many more.

Many were sad when the mastermind behind so many amazing films retired, so, last year, when he announced his comeback, fans were excited. Miyazaki has reported that he will be returning to create one more film before closing the door on his creations. During an interview, Miyazaki talked about the new movie, and how it is based on the novel from 1937, How Do You Live? Limited details on Miyazaki’s newest project have been released to the public, but the producer of Studio Ghibli, Toshio Suzuki, described it as a “fantasy on a grand scale.” 

As everyone waits patiently for another one of Miyazaki’s magical worlds, Hastings High School’s film teacher, Peter Scotch, shared  his opinion on Miyazaki’s work.

“Obviously there are different kinds of animated films,” said Mr. Scotch. “His, I believe, are all hand drawn. That production time and energy is so much more labor intensive because the renderings are all done by hand. If you think about what it takes to make an image move, and how subtle the motions must be from one frame to the next, it takes a lot more patience. It is a real art form in itself.” 

Mr. Scotch went on to say that Miyazaki’s work is notable for its powerful, surprising storytelling: “I think that that is the thing that everybody focuses on. The worlds that he creates are both very literal, metaphysical, and magical. They are quite real, imaginable, tangible, but then they just explode into something completely different.” 

“A lot of the films that I have seen” said Mr. Scotch, “deal with youth and innocence, and the struggle of these people to kind of control the world around them, to bring some kind of order, to save others, often adults. I think [Miyazaki] respects the vision, experiences, and the life of youth more than other filmmakers.”