Hayao Miyazaki

I wrote about Hayao Miyazaki for Vodzilla’s excellent retrospective of the man’s work.

Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary animator celebrated by a Blu-ray box set out in time for Christmas (Monday 8th December), once unwittingly summarised the appeal of his films in an interview with Roger Ebert. “If you stay true to joy and astonishment and empathy, you don’t have to have violence and you don’t have to have action. [Children] will follow you. This is our principle.”

While only some of his films do have violence and action – surprising amounts of it, in Princess Mononoke – every single one of them is characterised by joy and astonishment and empathy. That he combines such rare storytelling traits with the technical skill and creative élan of cinema’s historical greats is what makes him not only one of the greatest animators of all time, but also one of the greatest directors.

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