This is a post long in the making. A post I have been in the process of writing for a long time. A post highlighting the work of the greatest animator of our time: Hayao Miyazaki and his wonderful Studio Ghibli. A man who has brought more tears to my eyes than any other movie creator. I can’t adequately explain how his movies make me feel, but anyone who has ever watched Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke or any of his epic masterpieces… well. You understand.
Who is Hayao Miyazaki?
“Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese manga artist and prominent film director and animator of many popular anime feature films. Through a career that has spanned nearly fifty years, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of animated feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio.” – Wikipedia.
He is best known for his strong female characters, his simple line art but elaborate background paintings, and his love for nature and magic and the belief that children are the most remarkable and courageous people on this earth. All of this shines in every one of his works.
In honor of The Wind Rises arriving to the US, I thought I would do a showcase of some of my favorite Miyazaki movie fanart. I absolutely love seeing how different artists bring his characters to light. Because he’s done so much amazing work – I’m breaking this up into 2 posts and we’re going to focus on the work he directed under Studio Ghibli. On with the show!
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is about the “story of Nausicaä, a young princess of the Valley of the Wind who gets involved in a struggle with Tolmekia, a kingdom that tries to use an ancient weapon to eradicate a jungle of mutant giant insects. Nausicaä must stop the Tolmekians from enraging these creatures.” – Wikipedia.
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
“Pazu, an engineer’s apprentice, finds a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, and discovers they are both searching for a legendary floating castle, Laputa. Together, they embark on a daring quest and encounter greedy pirates, secret agents and astounding obstacles that keep them from the truth – and from each other.” – Disney.
My Neighbor Totoro
“The story follows Satsuke and Mei, two young girls who find that their new country home is in a mystical forest inhabited by a menagerie of mystical creatures called Totoros. They befriend O Totoro, the biggest and eldest Totoro, who is also the king of the forest. As their girls’ mother lies sick in the hospital, O Totoro brings the sisters on a magical adventure but also helps them to understand the realities of life.” – Rotten Tomatoes.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
“Kiki is a 13-year old witch. When a witch turns 13, it is traditional for her to move away from home to spend a year in another city or town where there is no witch already living, so that she can learn to be independant and practice her trade. This is Kiki’s story of the beginning of her year away from home. She and her black cat Jiji run into a little trouble at first, but they soon make friends in their new city by the sea.” – Nausicaa.Net.
Porco Rosso is about “an Italian World War I ex-fighter ace, now living as a freelance bounty hunter chasing ‘air pirates’ in the Adriatic Sea. The man has been cursed and transformed into a pig. Once called Marco Pagot, he is now known to the world as ‘Porco Rosso’, Italian for ‘Crimson Pig’.” – Wikipedia.
The World of Miyazaki
If you haven’t seen any of Miyazaki’s movies, I hope this showcase of fan art motivates you to go out and start exploring the world of Studio Ghibli. You won’t be disappointed.
Enjoy! Stay tuned for our next part featuring Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and more!