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Animation Bio: Hayao Miyazaki

Animation Bio: Hayao Miyazaki

In the world of animation, there are a few people who have gained fame throughout history as much as Hayao Miyazaki, who is now one of the best known of all time. He was born in Tokyo and became famous for his incredible drawing ability and the ideas that he created for various movies which originally gained him notoriety in Japan.


There are many themes explored in the work of Hayao Miyazaki. One of these is the exploration of good vs. evil.  His work includes characters that are multi-faceted and often face difficult choices between good and evil.  Many of the “bad” guys actually have some very good characteristics and some of the most beloved protagonists such as Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke have an overall villainous character arc. Yet several characters admire them for their redeeming qualities. These complexities give the characters throughout the work of Hayao Miyazaki a deeper reality than some animated works of similar style.


Love is a recurring theme in the work of Hayao Miyazaki, with the magical powers of love being central to this theme. In his works, love breaks curses, allows characters to follow their passions and even save the world.

Hayao Miyazaki also has many works that show themes of environmentalism, specifically preservation of the environment. Princess Mononoke is one of these. Some of his work contains primordial forests, river spirits and some animal characters that express disgust for humans and their destructive ways. On a personal level, Hayao Miyazaki has proven himself to be an environmentally concerned person through his own personal cleanup efforts in his local area as well as in interviews when he expressed regret at the economic process that hurt the environment where he grew up.


The work of Hayao Miyazaki often expresses both distaste for military action and hatefulness toward war. Main characters are frequently shown refusing to participate in wars and the wars themselves are depicted as nothing more than destroyers of civilization and environment. Hayao Miyazaki has shown his personal dislike for war when he refused to be present to accept an American Academy Award in 2003 and later stated that his refusal to attend was due to the fact that America had been bombing Iraq and he didn’t want to visit the country because of that.


Hayao Miyazaki has been referred to as a feminist and many of his works do feature feminist themes, such as all-female factories and matriarchal bathhouse scenes which help to break down conventional gender roles in film by showing women as capable and independent. There are always strong female protagonists in these films and Hayao Miyazaki in his personal life has been noted to have a feministic attitude toward female workers.

Miyazaki’s work has influenced many animators over the years, and his unique style, artwork, and storytelling have placed him in the top tier of animators. Those who look up to him know that his work may never be replicated, but it will remain relevant far into the future.


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