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Hayao Miyazaki is “Japanese Walt Disney”

Hayao Miyazaki, 2014. Image from the Collection Highlights (by AMPAS)

The legendary Studio Ghibli co-founder celebrated his 80th birthday in 2021, the same year his Oscar-winning animated movie “Spirited Away” is having its 20th anniversary.

For the world cinematograph, the 2021st year is notable by many milestone anniversaries of films, including the oldest “The Maltese Falcon” and “Dracula”, which recently hit the date of 90 years.

When mentioning animation, Western fans celebrate Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” anniversary (30 years), while attention for the eastern cinema is mainly concentrated on Japanese Ghibli Studio.

This January, Hayao Miyazaki, Ghibli’s co-founder and main inspirator, has turned 80, with 58 years dedicated to his animation career.

Miyazaki (born on January the 5th, 1941) is a Japanese animator, artist, director, producer and screenwriter. He gained international fame as a creator of animated feature films, a masterful writer and a talented mangaka (a manga artist).

In the modern animation world, Hayao Miyazaki is regarded as one of the most known filmmakers. He is also called “Japanese Walt Disney”. Many famed animators, producers and writers confessed that he inspired them by his life views and works.

Miyazaki’s films often raise the topic of environmental protection and nature’s fragility. His broad imagination created horrific pictures of the apocalyptic world, which show what contempt for the environment can cause.

An artist is well-known for his feminism and pacifistic views, which are reflected in his works. When Miyazaki was awarded The Best Animated Feature Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 2002, he refused to attend the Hollywood due to the USA involvement in the Iraq war. Award was accepted by the presenter Cameron Diaz.

Hayao Miyazaki’s works were also nominated in 2005 (Howl’s Moving Castle) and 2013 (The Wind Rises, shared with Toshio Suzuki ). In 2014 He won an Honorary Award, which stated:

“To Hayao Miyazaki, a master storyteller whose animated artistry has inspired filmmakers and audiences around the world”.

For outstanding cultural contribution, Miyazaki was named a Person of Cultural Merit in Japan. 

During his career, A Japanese artist has won 120 awards in total.

During his career, Hayao Miyazaki has created a considerable number of works in both the anime genre and manga. Experts single out 11 feature films directed by Miyazaki.

  • The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Castle in the Sky (1986)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
  • Porco Rosso (1992)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Spirited Away (2001)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  • Ponyo (2008)
  • The Wind Rises (2013)
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