Anime as Art: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki
February 13, 2012
Animated films often have to overcome a prejudice that they are "just kids’ movies" in order to be recognized as great works of cinema. The classic Disney films have won both popular and critical acclaim, as have the outstanding Pixar films. However, one of the greatest artists in the realm of animated films, Japan’s Hayao Miyazaki, is less well-known here in the United States. I would argue that he is one of the greatest filmmakers working today.
Anime addicts have long been aware of the brilliance of Miyazaki’s films. I had never heard of Miyazaki until I watched Princess Mononoke on DVD. I immediately knew that this filmmaker was special and set out to watch all his films. The thing that struck me was how "old school" the films were, in the best way. Miyazaki keeps CGI and other digital methods to a minimum, preferring traditional hand-drawn animation. His last film, Ponyo, was created entirely with hand-drawn animation, requiring a total of 170,000 separate images. Clearly, this man loves filmmaking and it shows. I can’t recommend his films highly enough. If you're not a fan of anime, you probably will be after watching a Miyazaki film.
Hayao Miyazaki films on DVD at MCPL:
- Ponyo (2008)
- Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
- Spirited Away (2001)
- Princess Mononoke (1997)
- Whisper of the Heart (1995)
- Porco Rosso (1992)
- Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
- My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
- Castle in the Sky (1982)
- Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)