Edit
Hayao Miyazaki Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (16) | Trivia (32) | Personal Quotes (25)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 5 January 1941Tokyo, Japan
Nickname the Japanese Walt Disney
Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the films to the rest of the world will let more people appreciate the high-quality works he has given the movie-going public.

Hayao Miyazaki was born in Tôkyô on January 5, 1941. He started his career in 1963 as an animator at the studio Toei Douga studio, and was subsequently involved in many early classics of Japanese animation. From the beginning, he commanded attention with his incredible drawing ability and the seemingly endless stream of movie ideas he proposed.

In 1971, he moved to the A Pro studio with Isao Takahata, then to Nippon Animation in 1973, where he was heavily involved in the World Masterpiece Theater TV animation series for the next five years. In 1978, he directed his first TV series, Future Boy Conan (1978) (Conan, The Boy in Future), then moved to Tôkyô Movie Shinsha in 1979 to direct his first movie, the classic The Castle of Cagliostro (1979). In 1984, he released Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), based on the manga (comic) of the same title he had started two years before. The success of the film led to the establishment of a new animation studio, Studio Ghibli (Sutajio Jiburi), at which Miyazaki has since directed, written, and produced many other films with Takahata and, more recently, Toshio Suzuki. All of these films enjoyed critical and box office successes. In particular, Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke (1997) received the Japanese equivalent of the Academy Award for Best Film and was the highest-grossing (about USD$150 million) domestic film in Japan's history at the time of its release.

In addition to animation, Miyazaki also draws manga. His major work was the Nausicaä manga, an epic tale he worked on intermittently from 1982 to 1984 while he was busy making animated films. Another manga, Hikoutei Jidai, was later evolved into his 1992 film Porco Rosso (1992).

Miyazaki's latest film is Howl's Moving Castle (2004), based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones. Even though he has said this would be at last film, a statement he has said before after the completion of some of his earlier films, one hopes that additions to his extraordinary body of work will continue to be produced as long as he remains alive.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A+8 <goodtanin@yahoo.com>

Spouse (1)

Akemi Ôta (October 1965 - ?) (2 children)

Trade Mark (16)

His films usually focus on young protagonists or have children that play key roles in the plot.
Frequently includes scenes or sequences in which characters fly
Frequently uses music by Jô Hisaishi
Frequently makes references to nature, ecology and pollution in his films (Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away).
Films often involve human protaganists entering a strange land that are forbidden or otherwise inaccessible (ie: the floating islands of Castle in the Sky, the forests in Princess Mononoke, the spirit land in Spirited Away).
Films often have two main characters (male and female) one of which is magical or has an unusual past.
Usually includes scenes or stills during the closing titles that let the viewer see what happened to the characters after the events described in the movie.
[Labour] Films involve scenes with labour or hommages to working class people and children or women helping out (esp. in "Spirited Away" and"Mononoke").
[Aliases] Main characters often have an alias, like "Princess Mononoke"or "Porco Rosso" and are seldomly referred to their real names.
Often sets his films in Japanese-influenced versions of European cities
Films often feature incredibly complex machines maintained by strange male characters. (The pirate's airship by the old man in Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta; The bathhouse boiler room by Kamaji in Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi; Howl's moving castle by Calcifer in Hauru no ugoku shiro.)
Female protagonists often become part of residences which are monumentally dirty in some respect and need their skills to clean it. (Howl's moving castle by Sophie in Hauru no ugoku shiro; The large bath in Yubaba's bathhouse by Chihiro/Sen in Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi; The pirate's kitchen by Sheeta in Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta.)
Many of his films criticize the use of violence as a means to an end while promoting peaceful reconciliation with one's enemies.
Often features a pig or an animal related to a pig in his films
[gorging on food] Sometimes shows a character or a group of characters gorging on a meal.
Strong female characters

Trivia (32)

He is sometimes called the "Walt Disney of Japan", but he hates that title.
Frequently makes references to nature, ecology, and pollution by humankind in his films, such as My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Princess Mononoke (1997), and Spirited Away (2001).
He sometimes bases characters in his movies on people he knows in real life. For example, in Spirited Away (2001), Chihiro is based on a daughter of one of his friends.
Is an Anglophile.
Graduated from Gakushuin University with a degree in political science & economics (1963).
Is a fan of Bugs Bunny, particularly of the Bugs Bunny shorts directed by Chuck Jones.
Allows no more than 10% of footage in his films to be computer generated.
Is good friends with famed Pixar director John Lasseter.
Father of Gorô Miyazaki.
The majority of the characters he creates are based on real people in his life.
Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.
A fan of Lauren Bacall, who later did the English voice of the Witch of the Waste in Howl's Moving Castle (2004).
In 1985, along with friend and fellow animator Isao Takahata, founded Studio Ghibli.
For a long time many of his films were not available in America following the original poor English language version of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), which cut roughly 20 to 30 minutes of time, changed character names and diluted the film's themes. Miyazaki was so upset over this poor handling that he refused to give the distribution rights to anyone who did not agree to follow a more strict translation of the Japanese dialogue and not remove any scenes. Walt Disney Studios eventually agreed to these terms and have been steadily releasing his films ever since, including a new English language version of Nausicaä that restores the lost footage and plays at its proper length. Miyazaki has stated he is very pleased and impressed with Disney's handling and dubbing of his films.
Refused to attend 2002 Academy Awards out of protest over the American invasion of Iraq.
Two of his title characters have been voiced by Batman actors in the English language adaptations of his films. Michael Keaton, who played Batman/Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton's first two films based on the DC character, provided the voice of Porco Rosso in Porco Rosso (1992) (1992) while Christian Bale, who played Batman in the Christopher Nolan Batman films, provided the voice of Howl in Howl's Moving Castle (2004) (2004).
He and animator Isao Takahata had wanted to do an animated version of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking. This dated back to 1971, when Miyazaki and Takahata prepared to do an animated film called "Pippi Longstocking, the Strongest Girl in the World" ("Nagakutsushita no Pippi, Sekai-ichi Tsuyoi no Onna no Ko"). They traveled to Sweden and not only did extensive research (he scouted the area of Visby in Gottland, where Pippi Longstocking (1969) was filmed), but met Lindgren in person to discuss the project with her. After their meeting with Lindgren, their permission to complete the project was denied and the project was canceled. Among what remains of the project are beautiful watercolored storyboards by Miyazaki himself. Since then, Miyazaki based many of his young heroines on Pippi Longstocking, especially Mimiko in Panda! Go Panda! (1972).
Preparing Studio Ghibli for two new feature film productions. [December 2008]
Miyazaki claims that he does not believe young manga artists should imitate the work of their predecessors. In his opinion, influence is supposed to drive the medium forward; and although Miyazaki markets his own name brand well, he is nevertheless also critical of the godlike status bestowed on himself. He sees such praise as stifling instead of encouraging the exploration of creativity and the development of a personal style in younger artists.
Miyazaki illustrated the Japanese covers of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's novels "Night Flight" and "Wind, Sand and Stars" when they were published and released in Japan; he also wrote an afterword for "Wind, Sand and Stars".
Miyazaki and French writer and illustrator Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius) have influenced each other and had become friends as a result of their mutual admiration. Moebius named his daughter Nausicaa after Miyazaki's heroine.
His favourite novels are Ursula K. Le Guin's "Earthsea" series, and he keeps her books at his bedside.
Miyazaki has had a somewhat uneasy relationship with Osamu Tezuka. Miyazaki honors Tezuka as among the creative artists who inspired him to become an animator, but stated that he felt humiliated when one day someone compared his style to Tezuka's; he felt he had to develop his own style apart from Tezuka's. He had also become increasingly critical of Tezuka's role in the development of anime in Japan and he criticized other animators for the reverential treatment, to the point of worship, given towards Tezuka.
Russian animator Yuriy Norshteyn is Miyazaki's friend and praised by him as "a great artist." Norshteyn's "Yozhik v tumane" (1975)_ is one of Miyazaki's favourite animated films.
He notes the works of fantasy writers Ursula K. Le Guin, Lewis Carroll, Edward Blishen, Diana Wynne Jones, Roald Dahl and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French artist Jean Giraud, the animated films "Hakuja den" (1958)_ and _"Snezhnaya koroleva" (1957)_, and cartoonists Osamu Tezuka and Yuriy Norshteyn as an influence on his work.
Got the name for Studio Ghibli from an airplane, the Italian Caproni Ca.309, whose nickname was Ghibli.
Kept a photo journal documenting how the 2008 financial crisis affected his town.
Worked from 11am to 9pm every day and only took Sundays off, not Saturdays or holidays.
Is considered to be one of the greatest animators of all time, held in the same rank as Walt Disney and Ralph Bakshi.
He co-founded Japanese anime company Studio Ghibli.
He frequents collaborates with writer-director Isao Takahata.
According to animator, Yasuo Ôtsuka, who mentored both Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Miyazaki got his sense of social responsibility from Takahata and with out him Miyazaki would probably just be interested in comic book material.

Personal Quotes (25)

I'm not going to make movies that tell children, "You should despair and run away".
The concept of portraying evil and then destroying it - I know this is considered mainstream, but I think it is rotten. This idea that whenever something evil happens someone particular can be blamed and punished for it, in life and in politics is hopeless.
When I talk about traditions, I'm not talking about temples, which we got from China anyway. There is an indigenous Japan, and elements of that are what I'm trying to capture in my work.
[asked about his work's role in modern pop-culture] The truth is I have watched almost none of it. The only images I watch regularly come from the weather report.
[discussing CGI animation] I've told the people on my CGI staff not to be accurate, not to be true. We're making a mystery here, so make it mysterious.
If [hand-drawn animation] is a dying craft, we can't do anything about it. Civilization moves on. Where are all the fresco painters now? Where are the landscape artists? What are they doing now? The world is changing. I have been very fortunate to be able to do the same job for 40 years. That's rare in any era.
When you watch the subtitled version you are probably missing just as many things. There is a layer and a nuance you're not going to get. Film crosses so many borders these days. Of course it is going to be distorted.
Actually I think CGI has the potential to equal or even surpass what the human hand can do. But it is far too late for me to try it.
Personally I am very pessimistic. But when, for instance, one of my staff has a baby you can't help but bless them for a good future. Because I can't tell that child, "Oh, you shouldn't have come into this life." And yet I know the world is heading in a bad direction. So with those conflicting thoughts in mind, I think about what kind of films I should be making.
Well, yes. I believe that children's souls are the inheritors of historical memory from previous generations. It's just that as they grow older and experience the everyday world that memory sinks lower and lower. I feel I need to make a film that reaches down to that level. If I could do that I would die happy.
[response to the otaku view of cute female lead characters as a form of wish fulfillment] It's difficult. They immediately become the subjects of rorikon gokko [play toy for Lolita Complex guys]. In a sense, if we want to depict someone who is affirmative to us, we have no choice but to make them as lovely as possible. But now, there are too many people who shamelessly depict such heroines as if they just want such girls as pets, and things are escalating more and more.
I can't believe companies distribute my movies in America. They're baffling in Japan! I'm well aware there are spots . . . where I'm going to lose the audience . . . Well, it's magic. I don't provide unnecessary explanations. If you want that, you're not going to like my movie. That's just the way it is.
When I think about the way the computer has taken over and eliminated a certain experience of life, that makes me sad. When we were animating fire some staff said they had never seen wood burning. I said, "Go watch!" It has disappeared from their daily lives. Japanese baths used to be made by burning firewood. Now you press a button. I don't think you can become an animator if you don't have any experience.
I think 2-D animation disappeared from Disney because they made so many uninteresting films. They became very conservative in the way they created them. It's too bad. I thought 2-D and 3-D could coexist happily.
[on the future of hand-drawn animation] I'm actually not that worried. I wouldn't give up on it completely. Once in a while there are strange, rich people who like to invest in odd things. You're going to have people in the corners of garages making cartoons to please themselves. And I'm more interested in those people than I am in big business.
Do everything by hand, even when using the computer.
[pitching the proposal for Princess Mononoke (1997)] There cannot be a happy ending to the fight between the raging gods and humans. However, even in the middle of hatred and killings, there are things worth living for. A wonderful meeting, or a beautiful thing can exist. We depict hatred, but it is to depict that there are more important things. We depict a curse, to depict the joy of liberation. What we should depict is, how the boy understands the girl, and the process in which the girl opens her heart to the boy. At the end, the girl will say to the boy, "I love you, Ashitaka.  But I cannot forgive humans." Smiling, the boy should say, "That is fine.  Live with me."
[When asked if Studio Ghibli and Pixar have a rivalry] The illustrators at Pixar are all people I hold dear, we are not in competition. Our relationship is one that is based on friendship.
My process is thinking... thinking... and thinking. If you have a better way, please let me know.
[When commenting on an animators work in Princess Mononoke] I think those who are into hobbies besides animation are no good after all. It's OK to have some preferences or favorite things of course, but basically only those who could be totally in absorption of what animation demands are qualified as animators. It's good to have extra knowledge about what seems interesting but if it gets as big as to forget about the job, it'd show on the paper I recognize. The animators are to dissolve frustrations only by animating the characters, or so I believe.
Last year and this year, several friends and colleagues of mine died in their 40s and 50s. Death comes to the young and old alike in no set order. It compels you to imagine that the Grim Reaper is ever lurking behind you. I myself become terrified of death when I am in a negative state of mind. But the thought of death ceases to bother me once I become productive.
I have learned to accept the fact that I can be useful only in an area in my immediate proximity--say within a 30-meter radius, or 100 meters at most, in a manner of speaking. I've got to accept my own limitations. In the past, I used to feel obliged to do something for the world or humanity. But I have changed a lot over the years. There was a time when I dabbled in the socialist movement, but I must say I was quite naive. When I saw Mao Tse-tung's picture for the first time, I found his face revolting. But everyone told me that he was a "great, warmhearted man," so I tried to think it was just a bad picture. I should have trusted my own gut feeling. That certainly wasn't the only time when I made a bad decision. I still am a man of many mistakes.
The world isn't simple enough to explain in words.
To choose one thing means to give up on another. That's inevitable.
You see, what drives animation is the will of the characters.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page