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The Films of Hayao Miyazaki - Decorah Public · PDF fileThe Films of Hayao Miyazaki: ... Since the 1979 theatrical release of The Castle Cagliostro, ... Gorgeous Joe Hisaishi score

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  • The Films of Hayao Miyazaki:

    My introduction into the inventive and enrapturing world of Hayao Miyazaki dates back to

    summer 1995 when I inquisitively rented a VHS copy of My Neighbor Totoro. Ive managed to collect his

    entire filmography throughout the past two decades; a collection that I continuously refer to either for

    creative motivation or an evening of fantastical enjoyment.

    As an ardent devotee of film, animation, and mangaor Japanese comic artI was

    inadvertently acquainted with Miyazakis work through various channels (i.e. many Japanese

    animations, comic books, and electronic games bare the mark of his impact). As a protg of Osamu

    Tezuka, a man unanimously labeled the godfather of manga, Miyazaki has in turn influenced a

    generation of aspirers and imitators (the most noteworthy being Pixar Studios head honcho John

    Lasseter). Thankfully, through Lasseters encouragement and Disneys marketing muscle, Miyazakis

    work is attainable throughout the Western regions of the globe.

    Since the 1979 theatrical release of The Castle Cagliostro, Hayao Miyazaki has exceeded the

    boundaries of modern storytelling. There is a naturalness and serene quality to Miyazakis work that is

    unmatched by most contemporary filmmaking. His films encompass specific attributes that are too

    difficult to express verbally and can only be truly attained through multiple viewings. I am proud that

    our public library has included his work to share with the community of Decorah, for in my mind there is

    no greater living filmmakeranimated or otherwise.

    --June 2016

    Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) [116m] Rising from the ashes

    of a collapsed Utopia, a young princess strives to preserve her serene

    kingdom--secluded in a valley--sheltered from contaminated, insect-

    infested forests, and opposing nations. An outstanding ecological fable

    teeming with imagination and spectacle. Written and directed by

    Miyazaki, adapted from his own manga (graphic novel). Note shorter

    print/alternative 1986 release Warriors Of The Wind.

  • Laputa: The Castle In The Sky (1986) [124m] Irresistible fantasy about an

    orphaned boy baring a spark of adventure and his entanglements with air

    pirates, corrupt government officials, and a mysterious girl who seemingly

    fell from the sky. A dazzling escapade invoking an authentic sense of awe

    and wonder; an ideal companion piece to Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind.

    Gorgeous Joe Hisaishi score. Alternative title: Castle In The Sky.

    My Neighbor Totoro (1988) [87m] Lovingly animated coming-of-age

    tale of two sisters who happen upon a giant tree spirit inhabiting a

    woodland near their home in post-World War II Japan. Majestic,

    compassionate, and unforgettable. A masterpiece of simplicity.

  • Kikis Delivery Service (1989) [105m] An adolescent witchwith flying

    broomstick and little black cat in tow--honors her family tradition by

    traveling to a new community where she opens a delivery business. An

    absolute delight with keen observations on responsibility and self-

    esteem. Written by Miyazaki adapted from a novel by Eiko Kadono.

    Princess Mononoke (1997) [134m] A young prince cursed by a demon

    god voyages to the western regions of feudal Japan in order to

    encounter his fate. There he comes across an industrial community lead

    by a woman at war with the natural world and its prized occupant: a

    princess, raised by wolves, sworn to defend the forests. Miyazakis

    reoccurring themes of feminism, humanism, mythology and ecology

    have seldom been set to more enthralling surroundings. A master

    filmmaker at the peak of his powers.

  • Spirited Away (2001) [124m] A prepubescent girl, willful and lethargic, is

    deprived of her identity and imprisoned within a bathhouse full of spirits.

    Upon custody she is coerced into labor tending to the baths and in turn

    acquires humility, reliability, and companionship. A superb foray into an

    enchanting world full of unforgettable sights and characters that

    deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

    Howls Moving Castle (2004) [119m] Sprawling adaptation of Diana

    Wynn Jones charming novel about a young woman, hexed with the

    body of an old hag by a malicious witch, venturing into uncharted

    territory in search of an antidote where she stumbles upon a handsome

    sorcerer and his mobile fortress. Intrepid and overwhelming at times,

    but exquisitely animated and never loses its sense of fun.

  • Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea (2008) [101m] Displeased with her ocean

    dwellings, and to the chagrin of her overly protective father, a goldfish

    mystically transforms into a human girl and befriends the little boy caring

    for her. Original, sweetly understated reimagining of Hans Christian

    Andersons The Little Mermaid manages to sustain its jubilant nature

    despite over-length.

    The Wind Rises (2013) [126m] Highly idealized, but no less

    affectionate, animated biography of Jir Horikoshi, a passionately

    driven engineer responsible for the Mitsubishi A6M Zero: an airplane

    used prominently in World War II much to the dismay of its

    conscientious inventor. Quietly moving and honorable examination of

    one of twentieth centurys most auspicious figures though its

    deliberate pacing may turn off younger viewers. Miyazakis most

    personal film to date.