Hayao Miyazaki

Biography: Born January 5, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most famous and well-respected creators of anime. He has three brothers, he being the second oldest. His older brother, Arata Miyazaki, was born in July 1939. His first younger brother is Shirou Miyazaki. His youngest is brother is named Yutaka Miyazaki and was born in January 1944.

In 1947, Miyazaki enrolled at a school in Utsunomiya, the capital city of Tochigi, Japan. He stayed there until the third grade, when his family moved back to Eifuku in the Suginami District, Tokyo, Japan. He then attended Omiya Suginami Elementary School. Then again in fifth grade, Hayao was transferred to the newly built Eifuku Elementary.

Miyazaki first gained recognition while working for the Toei Animation production of Garibā no Uchuu Ryokou (Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon) in 1965. He felt that the original ending in the script was lacking and thus pitched his own idea. Toei decides to go with his idea instead
of the original one.

A few years later Miyazaki became the chief animator and concept artist for Horus: Prince of the Sun, an animated film directed by his good friend Isao Takahata.

Throughout the 1970s, Miyazaki worked on a number of TV series. He left Toei and went to Nippon Animation where he worked as an animator on the World Masterpiece Theater TV animation series from 1974 to 1979 under Isao Takahata. He first became a director under the TV version of Lupin IIIin 1971 (he was a co-director with Takahata). His first film as a director wasn't until 1979 with The Castle of Cagliostro, a film based off of Lupin III.

In 1978, Miyazaki worked on Future Boy Conan, an adaptation of the children's novel The Incredible Tide by Alexander Key. He later directed six episodes of Sherlock Hound in 1981/1982.

Miyazaki's next film as director, however, was Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa) in 1984. Nausicaä was an adaptation from the manga by the same name, and featured many themes in which Miyazaki enjoys, such as environmental concerns, aircrafts, and the absence of a traditional villain. Following the success of Nausicaä, Miyazaki and Isao Takahata founded the animation film company, Studio Ghibli.

Miyazaki continued to gain recognition with his first three films made through Studio Ghibli. In 1986 he created Castle in the Sky (Laputa: Castle in the Sky), the infamous My Neighbor Totoro in 1988 (Tonari no Totoro), and Kiki's Delivery Service in 1989. Throughout this time, other directors, including Takahata began directing poplar films under Studio Ghibli.

In 1992, Miyazaki put his fascination of aircrafts into overload with the creation of Porco Rosso (adopted from the original manga by Hikoutei Jidai). For the first time, the main character was an adult male (who was actually transformed into a pig). The film is a light-hearted adventure set in a fictional world based on Italy in the 1920s. It features many airtcrafts and sky battled. Miyazaki first came by his love for flying and airplanes when he was a child. He would watched airplanes fly and get repaired at a factory where his father worked

In 1997, Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime) was released. The film won Best Picture at the Japanese Academy Awards. Miyazaki retired after making Princess Mononoke, intending it to be his last film as a director.

He came out of retirement (not for the last time) after spending a holiday with the daughters of a friend. She actually became the inspiration for his next film, Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) in July of 2001. It features the story of a girl who is forced to survive in a strange world full of spirits. She is enlisted to work in a bathhouse for spirits and gods after her parents are turned into pigs. The film did immensely well in Japan, braking the box office records previously set by Titanic with ¥30.4 billion. It has received numerous film awards, including Best Picture at the 2001 Japanese Academy Awards, Golden Bear (First Prize) at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival, and the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (the first Oscar awarded to an anime production).

Although intending Spirited Away to now be his final film, in July 2004, Miyazaki finished production on Howl's Moving Castle. Howl's is an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones' fantasy novel of the same name. Miyazaki had to come out of retirement this time, due to the sudden departure of the film's original director Mamoru Hosoda. The film premiered at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival and won the Golden Osella award for animation technology. On November 20, 2004, Howl's Moving Castle opened to general audiences in Japan and earned ¥1.4 billion in its first two days, continuing the record-setting trend of Miyazaki films at the box office. The English dubbed version was released in the U.S., through Disney, on June 11, 2005.

In 2005, Miyazaki was awarded the lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival.
Miyazaki may have been was well known in Japan since 1984 with the debut of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind., but he was largely unknown in the West until Miramax released his film 1997 film Princess Mononoke in 1999. Since then, Walt Disney has purchased many of his films as part of the Disney-Tokuma Deal. The deal grants worldwide distribution rights for certain Studio Ghibli films to the Walt Disney Corporation. Disney has released and is still releasing these films uncut.

Miyazaki is considered to be the "Walt Disney of Japanese animation". Although he dislikes this title, it may prove to be true, as his films have grossed enough to put him in league with Disney's work. However, Miyazaki doesn't see himself as a person building an animation empire - only an animator lucky enough to have been allowed to make films with his own personal touch.
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Hayao Miyazaki's Scores

  • Movies
Average career score: 77
Highest Metascore: 94 Spirited Away
Lowest Metascore: 47 Tales from Earthsea
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
8 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
83 The Wind Rises Nov 8, 2013 Director / Comic / Screenplay 8.2
71 From Up on Poppy Hill Mar 15, 2013 Screenplay 8.2
80 The Secret World of Arrietty Feb 17, 2012 Executive Producer / Screenplay 8.2
47 Tales from Earthsea Aug 13, 2010 Writer 6.1
86 Ponyo Aug 14, 2009 Director / Executive Producer / Written By 7.8
80 Howl's Moving Castle Jun 10, 2005 Director / Executive Producer / Screenplay 8.9
94 Spirited Away Sep 20, 2002 Director / Written By 9.3
76 Princess Mononoke Oct 29, 1999 Director / Written By 9.1