Author Topic: Hayao Miyazaki: drawn to perfection  (Read 1558 times)

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Offline bijou

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Hayao Miyazaki: drawn to perfection
« on: December 31, 2009, 10:22:22 AM »
Ponyo, the new film by Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki, has already appeared on several critics’ “most eagerly awaited” lists for this coming year. But that’s nothing compared with the anticipation of his professional peers.

Best known here for his enchanting films Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and Princess Mononoke (1997), Miyazaki is an animators’ animator, a demigod to his fellow artists. He won a best animated film Oscar for Spirited Away, so he’s not exactly an unknown quantity in the west. But at home he’s a national celebrity, and his work is hugely popular: astonishingly, Ponyo has grossed the equivalent of $164 million at the Japanese box office.
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Still, his reputation rests on far more than financial success. His 10 feature-length hand-drawn films genuinely appeal to adults as much as to children. Visually gorgeous, they cunningly blend myths from Japan and elsewhere with sharp doses of psychological insight. Their haunting, elusive quality remains with the viewer long after the end titles.

Ponyo is a good example. Inspired partly by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, it is about Sosuke, a little boy who lives high on a cliff by the sea. One day he rescues Ponyo, a goldfish; her head was trapped inside a jam jar. Her father, once human, is a now a sorcerer living in the ocean depths, who wants her to return to him. But Ponyo wants to be human and stay with Sosuke.

The story, featuring a tender relationship between Sosuke and his strong, loving mother Lisa, and a destructive tidal wave that threatens their community, is somehow more than the sum of its parts.

Ponyo will be released in Britain both in its original Japanese version, and with a soundtrack in English supervised by John Lasseter, creative director of Pixar and Disney animation and a passionate champion of Miyazaki. The English-language voice cast includes Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon and Liam Neeson.

Miyazaki, 68, rarely grants one-on-one interviews, but agreed to talk to me through a translator at the Venice Film Festival, where Ponyo was first seen outside Japan.  ...

Offline thundley4

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Re: Hayao Miyazaki: drawn to perfection
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2009, 12:31:20 PM »
I liked Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away, but not so much Princess Mononoke. My wife watches tons of anime movies.

Offline Wineslob

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Re: Hayao Miyazaki: drawn to perfection
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2010, 10:00:28 AM »
I thought Spa of Love was pretty good.
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Offline Doppelganger

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Re: Hayao Miyazaki: drawn to perfection
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 10:44:20 PM »
I'll probably keep an eye out for this one. I was pleasantly surprised by Howl's Moving Castle (I'm not a big anime freak but I really liked the style and method of storytelling), so if this one's anything like it, I'd probably enjoy it.