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Miyazaki On Miyazaki: The Animation Genius On His Movies
From Lupin to Ponyo: A look back at the films of Studio Ghibli

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Hayao Miyazaki is arguably the greatest living animation director, the Japanese Walt Disney — though he’d not thank you for the title. With Studio Ghibli's eleventh feature, Arrietty, about to hit our screens, Empire is proud to relive the studio's filmography with the man who continues to preside over it so gloriously. Prepare for 30 years of unparalleled magic...

WORDS DAN JOLIN
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The respect that animators the world over have for Hayao Miyazaki is hard to overstate. Pixar chief John Lasseter claims he’s “one of the greatest filmmakers of our time”, and the fact that Lasseter now oversees all Miyazaki’s English dubs, attracting such talent as Billy Bob Thornton, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall and Liam Neeson to voice them, should suggest he’s not exaggerating. Miyazaki is a high fantasist as comfortable dreaming up steampunk action-adventures as he is intimate child dramas, inter-war aerial romps, post-apocalyptic wastescapes, monster-populated spirit worlds, or the deep, violent past of his own homeland, Japan. His own producer, Toshio Suzuki, also a Ghibli board-member, simply describes him as “a genius”. And when Empire meets the 68 year-old director for a rare interview, we suspect he may just qualify as an eccentric one.

Hayao Miyazaki

Studio Ghibli consists of three unassuming buildings located in the quiet suburb of Koganei in western Tokyo. We’ve arrived at Miyazaki’s private office building, a few streets down from the studio proper, where we find the man himself in his central office, a large but welcoming space whose two salient features are a grand piano and a wood-burning stove, which Miyazaki keeps topping up with timber during our near-two-hour discussion of his work...

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Your Comments

1
i love all of his movies and every other movie from Studio GHIBLI. Miyazaki Hayao is GOD! More

Posted by mbembet on Wednesday August 3, 2011, 15:21

2 Errors spotted!
The films are in the wrong order, makes the reading slightly confused. Please consider fixing this... great interview though! More

Posted by La Mouche on Saturday July 30, 2011, 13:36

3 One Of The Best Directors In The World...
.... never mind just in animation. It's a crime that Miyazaki is still so underrated in the west - he should be a household name the world over. Ghibli and Miyazaki are responsible for many of my favourite films, like Totoro, Kiki's, Porco Rosso, Spirited Away... just all fantastic stuff. More

Posted by Artoo02 on Thursday July 28, 2011, 23:32

4
I have seen every one of these films (excluding Tales of Earthsea and Ocean Waves) multiple times, and every one of them is extraordinarily fantastic in its own way. The only movie I did not like was Pom Poko, but the rest of them are outstanding. More

Posted by seankeating0816 on Thursday July 28, 2011, 23:16

5 Thank you Empire
excellent read and well put together. Please disable the ability to comment as to avoid fanboys, useless flaming, adverts and brown-nosers such as myself. More

Posted by hemibell on Thursday July 28, 2011, 21:28

6
Studio Ghibli have done more than 11 films, just saying. More

Posted by kylereborn on Thursday July 28, 2011, 20:51

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