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Miyazaki's Animation: Gifts for the Art Major in Us All

Updated on May 3, 2015

First let me say that I have dedicated this site to my daughter. She is the one that first discovered Miyazaki and his wonderful drawings and animation.



To know that someone would dedicate so much of their own time and bring a story to life one frame at a time. I still like the old cartoons here in the states for that same reason. I still find it amazing that someone would still do this. I recently saw a special on modern cartoons. They were talking about having it computer generated. And somehow that is just not the same. I do agree that somethings can go faster with machines and computers. But animation, like this, is not one of them.



My daughter also informed me that this gentleman and artist will be retiring soon. Knowing what he has done this far he more than deserves this. Knowing what he has done even I, the non-artist that I am will miss what he does.



There are many of his movies that could hold the # 1 spot. But in my mind or should I say at the top of my list is Spirited Away. I have to be honest for me I don't believe in where this move is set. Sort of an afterlife scenario. The story and animation far outweigh my one disagreement.



That's right world I am actually saying I like this move. Just watching the animation and how the pictures flow together. Seeing how the story line works together to bring everything from beginning to end. I sometimes wonder if it took longer to write this story or to animate it.



Watching the young girl as she grows up over a short period of time. Not so much because she has to but because she wants to. Seeing what she is willing to go through to help not only her and her parents but so many others. That's right its the one person can make a difference. In in the move one person or one little girl is willing to reach out and help others. At some points there are those that wonder why. But in the end they understand. She is willing to help out not just herself and her family but all those that are around here.



Its the willingness to help others that moves Spirited Away to the top of my list. Yes that's the list of Miyazaki movies.


And a final note on Miyazaki's movies – The voice overs. For us its fun to see if we can identify the voice actors that are doing the English voices. This is true for all his animated work not just Spirited Away.

Spirited Away - The Trailer

Here are some others that my daughter has added to her collection

My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro

In my opinion, this is the most viewed movie. Its interesting how I can name the artist and have blank stares coming back at me. But the moment I say Totoro the lights go on. In fact I think that this was the first of the Miyazaki movies that my daughter laid her hands on. For me the hard part is remembering to use the whole title “My Neighbor Totoro”. And not just Totoro. They are in two different sections in the library video section. I also know that it is popular as this video replaced at least three times at our local branch. To be honest my favorite character in this movie is not Totoro but the large feline. Yes the feline that is sort of a bus. Good for getting around in. There are so many things in this movie that could be, brought up. The most interesting thing to me is the fact that I can mute the move and never loose interest in it. The art work is that good that it keeps my interest. And just ask my daughter, that's saying something.

 

My Neighbor Totoro - The trailer

Ponyo
Ponyo

For our family the term is you are a lake baby. Most of us were grew up on large bodies of water. Somehow this movie fits into that background. To know that most of this is in an ocean setting doesn't change a thing. To see the different ways the art work plays in. My favorite is when the creation of the typhoon. Its not just the large waves but the large fish. That's right the waves themselves are large fish. Seeing them as they make the large ship look small as they crash around it. Going through the movie tied water throughout. For you see there is also a boat that travels on a river. Again another memory for the lake babies. Watching as the animation continues to bring the water to life.

 

The trailer of Ponyo

From Up on Poppy Hill (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack)
From Up on Poppy Hill (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack)

Of all the films shared, this is the only one that my daughter does not own. Yet. To be honest I found it at our local library. Over Christmas I was able to share it with her. She watched it twice in a row. Not much sleep that evening. That's here not me. She was happy to see one of Miyazaki's movies that was more in truth then in fantasy. There was an actual story line that did not consist of strange creatures. A story line that could have actually happened. She was able to enjoy the move. And then break down its creation on the second viewing.

In this video you will see how two deceased seaman’s children could become friends. And then learn about their fathers. And what they would do to help each other. Then how the two children work together to save a building. And then to build a relationship. Their willingness to keep going. They learned that their fathers were close in life. And then brought them together even after they had passed.

 

And last but not lease the trailer of From Up on Poppy Hill

Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki

My daughter won't tell me her favorite, will you?

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Sorry that you can't attach any animation but you can always leave a note before you leave.

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    • PaigSr profile image
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      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      @Margaret Schindel: I didn't know about his son. However my daughter probably does. its nice to know you are still finding things every time you watch. With the detail that is involved it is easy to believe that it can happen. I know it does for me.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      My husband and I both are huge fans of Miyazaki's work. It's hard to choose a favorite - we own DVDs of 8 or 9 DVDs of his films. His painted backgrounds are breathtaking and endlessly fascinating. We have watched all our Miyazaki films many times over - they're eminently re-watchable - and we always find some new and wonderful, subtle detail that we hadn't noticed before. Thank you for focusing on Miyazaki's incredible art. I'm very saddened by his retirement. His son is following in his footsteps, although he has his own style and, to my mind, doesn't quite have the magic touch his father does - at least not yet.

    • PaigSr profile image
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      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      @ChocolateLily: There is so much that is out there. Depending on how you look at it some say art others don't. But knowing that it is out there and you have the choice is what is important. Also the "real" story was a nice find as well.

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      ChocolateLily 3 years ago

      Spirited Away is such a wonderful film. I will say though that I've not considered it as being an afterlife scenario, but more of a fantasy occurrence (or even a dream). We are big fans of Miyazaki. We recently discovered From Up on Poppy Hill, and I really enjoyed how it was a "real" story - not a fantasy. I love fantasies, but sometimes "real" is refreshing. I also agree with you about new animation, but I also think Miyazaki even tops Disney on both animation (especially note the difference in backgrounds) and story.

    • PaigSr profile image
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      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      @boneworld: Understood and agree.

    • boneworld profile image

      Jackson Thom 3 years ago from West of Left South Lucky

      Spirited Away is great, and real animation is becoming a lost art form. New animation just doesn't have the same warmth.