Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Hayao Miyazaki, the master of animation
March 21, 2003 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Among Hayao Miyazaki's masterpieces are Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Princess Mononoke, and, most recently, Spirited Away. With the April 15 US release of Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Laputa: Castle in the Sky, an Academy nomination for Spirited Away, and Disney's commitment to release re-dubbed, re-mastered versions of Miyazaki's films in the US and worldwide, the American public is getting more acquainted with this legend of animation. Miyazaki's films are not your regular anime [more inside...]
posted by azazello (55 comments total)

 
Miyazaki's works stand for the highest human values of love, compassion and pacifism, as well as human exploitation of nature, as he explores these ideals in an even deeper context in his manga. Miyazaki's films are optimistic (as opposed to Studio Ghibli's other masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies by Isao Takahata): "I think we must create films that will make people happy", he says. His films mesmerize the audience with breathtaking art and unforgettable music by longtime collaborator Joe Hisaishi.
posted by azazello at 11:59 AM on March 21, 2003


This post would not have been possible without Team Ghiblink's dedicated work.
posted by azazello at 12:02 PM on March 21, 2003


My Nausicaa wallpaper told me to tell you that this is an excellent post. This is the first time I can remember looking forward to April 15th.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:03 PM on March 21, 2003


Rotten Tomatoes' critical rankings for films in 2002.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:04 PM on March 21, 2003


err, that should be discuss human exploitation of nature
posted by azazello at 12:06 PM on March 21, 2003


Also, Miyazaki's current work: Howl's Moving Castle. I'll shut up now.
posted by azazello at 12:10 PM on March 21, 2003


Miyazaki is amazing. Spirited Away is one of the most amazing movies I've ever seen. The train over the water is probably one of the most haunting scenes I've ever seen, in animated or non-animated films.
posted by signal at 12:11 PM on March 21, 2003


That Rotten Tomatoes's ranking looked like a solid endorsement for Spirited Away, until I noticed that the urine soaked re-release of E.T. was in second place, and Scratch, an indepth look into the DJ Lifestyle was in 3rd. Does Rotten Tomatoes really compile their rankings across multiple media reviewers, or are they just using a Ouija board?
posted by jonson at 12:12 PM on March 21, 2003


My Neighbor Totoro!

Better than any of his others. By far. My daughter and I are huge fans of his work.
posted by rocketman at 12:14 PM on March 21, 2003


Personally, I love an animé post like this anytime (and more so amongst so much bad news about the war). Thanks!
posted by Shane at 12:16 PM on March 21, 2003


The man, the myth, the master. While is storylines appear somewhat childish on first examination, there are overtones of more adult themes on war, change, friendship, as well as the above mentioned themes on the human destruction of our natural habitat. What he is really known for, however, is the absolute technical mastery of the cartoon process. No computers -- just scores of artists, paper, and time. Lots of time. His stuff reminds you of the old Merry Melodies cartoons of the 30's and 40's.

Another aspect that I adore about Miyazaki is the fanciful visions of time and place that he creates. Kiki's Delivery Service is a great example. The city Kiki settles in looks like part Cinqueterre in Italy, part Anance in the French Alps, and part Frieburg in the Black Forest of Germany. Then there's Totoro, which is set in a pastoral but modern Japan -- it feels like 1950's Japanese countryside, except imagine there had never been the war. I get a cozy feeling just thinking about it.

Anyway, quick Miyazaki tutorial:

Miyazaki : Mozart :: Disney : Salieri
Miyazaki : Copernicus :: Disney : Aristotle
Miyazaki : Stieglitz :: Disney : This
Miyazaki : Michelangelo :: Disney : Disney
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:19 PM on March 21, 2003


Spirited Away was truly beautiful. I loved it, even the creepy bird lady and bouncing green heads, which I'm sure would have scared the bejesus out of me as a kid.

I'm excited for it's DVD release, and I'm glad to hear about the commitment to release remastered versions of his movies. I hope they release a remastered version of Totoro in letterbox format. That was my biggest gripe with the current DVD version and why I didn't buy it.
posted by jennyb at 12:28 PM on March 21, 2003


About freakin' time. Now if Disney'll just re-release Nausicaa...
posted by RakDaddy at 12:29 PM on March 21, 2003


Castle in the Sky! It's about freakin' time!!! I had pre-ordered this off Amazon months ago. I'm tired of watching my crappy VCD version I d/ed off Kazaa.
posted by freakystyley at 12:37 PM on March 21, 2003


Spirited Away was my favorite film of 2002, and Miyazaki is probably my favorite filmmaker right now.

For those who can't wait, a friend of a friend told me that you might be able to find Laputa, Porco Rosso, and Nausicaa on the file sharing network of your choice.

On preview: yeah, freakystyley, I'd be happier with the DVDs, too.
posted by muckster at 12:42 PM on March 21, 2003


I keep seeing this collection advertised, and at my local anime dealer. It includes Nausicaa and isn't region coded.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:47 PM on March 21, 2003


i lovelove kiki's delivery service, as well as my neighbor totoro and castle in the sky. thank you for this post.
posted by ifjuly at 12:48 PM on March 21, 2003


What I find most enthralling of Miyazaki's work is that the characters are so...real. Real people always have redeeming qualities; no one is ever (normally) completely evil. Miyazaki presents us with characters and choices; we have to make up our own minds.

In Princess Mononoke, for example, Lady Eboshi was destroying the forest and slaughtering the animals therein, but she did it to support the town and provide for the disadvantaged people she took care of-- lepers and former prostitutes. Is she evil? In some ways, from some points of view, yes; in others, no.

Similarly the gods of the forest-- they were protecting their own and their habitat, but they did it by willfully attacking women and children as well as the loggers and miners. Are they evil? Again, it depends on your point of view.

Miyazaki isn't going to tell us which side to root for. I like that.

Compare this to a fim like, oh, say, Titanic-- Cal was a one-dimensional twit. If his arrogance and snobbery wasn't enough to for us to dislike him, director James Cameron throws us more reasons: Cal hits women; he shamelessly baits those "beneath" him; and he commits fraud and other crimes to avenge slights. By the end of the flick we imagine he beats puppies and sells factory girls into prostitution to boot.

There is nothing, not a single trait in Cal that is good. Cameron makes our choices for us: Thou Shalt Hate Cal; Thou Shalt Love the Ragamuffin Rogue; Thou Shalt Cheer On The Opressed Heroine As She Does Things We Would Lynch Cal For Doing; Thou Shalt Be Disgusted At The Cowardly Shipowner Who Values The Bottom Line Above Human Lives; and so on.

That's what I like Miyazaki for. His films are like a fresh breeze through a closed, hot room.
posted by Cerebus at 12:48 PM on March 21, 2003


Eyeballkid: The Archives of Studio Ghibli are bootlegs of the Japanese laser discs. Utterly illegal (tho' also the only practical way to see Nausicaa until next year's official DVD release). More info.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:52 PM on March 21, 2003


Yeah, I figured. But it's never stopped me before.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:55 PM on March 21, 2003


How come it's always Russians who bring up Miyazaki? ;)

(his movies changed my life, and continue to do so)
posted by adzuki at 12:59 PM on March 21, 2003


Spirited Away was a brilliant movie. And now you've gone and gotten Chihiro's Waltz stuck in my head again, darn it... Beautiful music, beautiful film... And well put, Cerebus.

Something I noticed about Spirited Away is its fixation on food and eating. Trying to make this spoiler-free... Chihiro's parents get into trouble for eating what they shouldn't (and nearly end up get eaten themselves), No-Face eats everything in sight. Haku ate something to protect it, and also feeds Chihiro twice (once to protect her, once to make her feel better). The bath-house customers eat unreal glistening greasy food while the employees eat something more approaching real food (I was seriously craving tempura shrimp after seeing that movie the first time). Not to mention the tea-party, the kitchen scenes, the soot-spirits...
posted by wanderingmind at 1:21 PM on March 21, 2003


Cerebus: you sat all the way through Titanic?
posted by signal at 1:25 PM on March 21, 2003


Who'll win this weekend, Chihiro or Lilo? Either way, it's a highlight for this actress.

:: rooting for Spirited Away ::
posted by LinusMines at 1:30 PM on March 21, 2003


Yeah, I figured. But it's never stopped me before.

Well, like I said, it's the only practical way to see Nausicaa, a movie I've seen several times.

(I have a huge urge to do that creepy ~wink~ thing here.)
(And yes, I'll be buying a copy of the proper DVD when it comes out.)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:30 PM on March 21, 2003


I've heard, and it may not be true, that Disney is sabotaging the release of Miyazaki films in the US. This includes the very limited release of Princess Mononoke to only a few dozen art theatres, which played to rave reviews and sold out shows. I also heard something about the US release of Chiro being pulled because of bad color in the Disney-produced version. Sounds plausible, and really low if it's true.

I've seen Chiro, but not in English. Saw it in hungary, without any dubbing or subtitles, before the English version was finished. So I know what happens, but a lot of the details are lost on me. the film rocked anyway though.

For the record, I think Kiki's Delivery Service is my favourite of the bunch, though it's a tough, tough decision.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:21 PM on March 21, 2003


Don't do the ~wink~. When ~winks~ happen, kittens die and little girls cringe.

I've never seen the movie for Nausicaa, but I can vouch for the books, which are my very favorite comics ever.

One thing that's interesting about Miyazaki, especially in comparison to other anime, is that it seems entirely impossible for him to write a weak female character. Anybody ever dig up any dirt on why that is? It seems to go beyond ideology or "PC-ness".
posted by furiousthought at 2:26 PM on March 21, 2003


PinkStainless, Eyeballkid, I got hooked on Nausicaa through the Manga version (english translation) before I saw the film. Amazing work that I believe goes well beyond what the film showed.
posted by jazon at 2:48 PM on March 21, 2003


Do not forget his stunning work on Lupin III: Castle Cagliostro, a terrific adventure story with wit and humanity. Between that and Totoro, I have a hard time deciding.

An essay about Miyazaki, including his choice of female heroines (actually, usually a trio of a strong younger female lead, an older female mentor, and a generally-more-passive young male lead); and Miyazaki himself on his predilections.

By the way, I've always seen Titanic, along with some other critics, as a deliberate hommage to the exaggerated caricatures of the period filmmakers such as D.W. Griffith. You can almost see the dialogue cards at times.
posted by dhartung at 3:16 PM on March 21, 2003


that's how I watch Attack of the Clones, dhartung. And I think it's a much better homage than the celebrated but lifeless Far From Heaven. I mean, it's called Attack of the Clones for chrissakes!

Good call on Castle of Cagliostro, which is available on DVD. As much as I like all of Miyazaki's films, I felt that Spirited Away was a culmination of many of his themes and full of nods and winks to his earlier work. I was under the impression it was going to be his last film, so I'm absolutely thrilled to hear about Howl's Moving Castle.
posted by muckster at 3:25 PM on March 21, 2003


I've got Totoro...
and Mononoke, but it's too violent for my toddler.

which others are good for young toddlers?
posted by zanpo at 3:25 PM on March 21, 2003


Zanpo, I'd recommend Kiki's Delivery Service.
posted by muckster at 3:53 PM on March 21, 2003


I decided not to wait for whatever Disney did, and ordered the originals from J-List, a wonderful source of all kinds of crazy Japanese stuff. The DVD's are really lavish with lots of extras, but they are Region 2 encoded, so you either need a hacked or region-free DVD player (you can order one from J-List for under $100) or you need to play them on your PC using a hardware or software patch. on that (most of the top links are excellent).
posted by anser at 4:09 PM on March 21, 2003


shoot, I messed up that list link. Just google for
dvd region.free
posted by anser at 4:28 PM on March 21, 2003


Anser - the Disney/Mirimax releases of the studio ghibli DVDs are all going to contain the same things as the japanese releases, only presumably with english subtitles on the bonus features.

As for the bootleg set that Eyeballkid posted about, I can vouch for its quality - while not quite DVD quality, they're definitely very watchable, and the subtitles are all very well translated. However, don't pay $75 for it - you can get it shipped from hong kong for around $50.

Also, now that there's a round of US releases coming out and probably more to come, I'd really say that ethically it's probably a better choice to just buy the real versions and give money to the studio, not some dudes who ripped laserdiscs. I plan to buy all the official releases as they come out, so I don't feel any guilt at having bought bootlegs before.
posted by chrisege at 9:51 PM on March 21, 2003


spirited away was so wonderful! favourite movie of the year, assuredly.
posted by kv at 11:22 PM on March 21, 2003


english subtitles = good
english disney dubbing = bad
widescreen = good

My biggest problem with Disney's version of Spirited Away was the recognizable voices. I don't know why it is important, or fashionable, to feature brand-name actors for dubbing, but I find it distracting and annoying (like Brendan Fraiser in The Quiet American).

comparing any movie to Titanic = bad

When I saw Spirited Away in the theater, it was preceded with a trailer for Disney's Treasure Planet - now there is a fair comparison; Original, inspired story and animation vs. typical Disney formulaic crap.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:34 PM on March 21, 2003


oh, and wanderingmind - interesting point, about the fixation on food and eating... i wonder what it all means.
posted by kv at 11:36 PM on March 21, 2003


kv, Castle of Cagliostro has a lot of wide-open-mouthed eating in it, too. But on a different subject, I would like to address my fellow Miyazaki fans here, and urge us all to cease making these Miyazaki vs. Disney comparisons. Nothing is to be gained by demonizing Disney. "Spirited Away", "Princess Mononoke", etc., are among the greatest works of art of all time. But to praise them we don't have to put down "Lilo and Stitch" or "Treasure Planet", which were also brilliant works of art -- simply because they are not up there in the Miyazakian stratosphere. With Disney and Miyazaki, we live in a great age of animation. Let's enjoy all of it. (And speaking of enjoyment, I don't understand the demand for English sub-titled versions of Miyazaki's films. I'd much rather have the dubbed versions. Who watches a Miyazaki film for the dialogue? I want to be able to see and study every inch beauty on screen. We go to Miyazaki for visual ravishment. Subtitles are clutter. Give me dubbing, any day.)
posted by Faze at 5:33 AM on March 22, 2003


My favorite Miyazaki movie is still Pom Poko. Raccoons with balls!

And as for subtitles, I'd much rather hear the original Japanese dialogue than hear dubs any day. Just like widescreen preserves the director's vision, the orignal dialogue is how the movie was envisioned, and being in Taiwan I'm used to subtitles on everything anyway.
posted by Poagao at 8:18 AM on March 22, 2003


That, and agent Scully the wolf god distracts me from the scenery way more than any subtitle would, but that's just me.

Lilo and Stitch is a very good movie.
posted by furiousthought at 8:33 AM on March 22, 2003


Cerebus: What I find most enthralling of Miyazaki's work is that the characters are so...real. Real people always have redeeming qualities; no one is ever (normally) completely evil. Miyazaki presents us with characters and choices; we have to make up our own minds.

This is true of a lot of other anime, too. Try Evangelion, or Revolutionary Girl Utena, for example. Or Oniisama E (Brother, Dear Brother), available only in fansubs, alas. Or even the Gunnm OAV's. Or Juuni Kokki (Twelve Kingdoms), also available only in digisubs (but US rights recently acquired, by Media Blasters, I think).

furiousthought: One thing that's interesting about Miyazaki, especially in comparison to other anime, is that it seems entirely impossible for him to write a weak female character.

While this is true of Miyazaki, I'll take exception to 'other anime'. The presence of strong female characters is one of the things that makes it appealing to me. Take any of the shows mentioned above, for example. Or, if you prefer shounen stuff, Maison Ikkoku, Bubblegum Crisis, Gunbuster, or even Slayers.

Another vote for Castle of Cagliostro, which has been available in the US as a DVD for a couple of years now.

I'm another subtitle fan. US voice acting is getting better, but with rare exceptions, it just isn't as good as the Japanese. I check both tracks on the DVD's I buy, and I always go back to the Japanese. Film, animated or not, is just better in the language in which it was developed. I wouldn't expect the voice acting on the Japanese version of The Lion King to be as perfect as Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg, either.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:56 AM on March 22, 2003


While this is true of Miyazaki, I'll take exception to 'other anime'. The presence of strong female characters is one of the things that makes it appealing to me.

Okay, but that wasn't quite what I was noting. Other anime does has strong female characters, very true. But weak and vain and silly female characters also pop up, especially in bit roles, and sometimes even the heroes vacillate. In Miyazaki, female characters always seem to have the hearts of lions, even the supporting characters. Women just aren't weak in Miyazaki stories, not even in ways that might not be sexist or stereotypical - and that's what I thought was exceptional, and maybe deeper than ideology would dictate.
posted by furiousthought at 1:20 PM on March 22, 2003


azazello: Disney's commitment to release re-dubbed, re-mastered versions of Miyazaki's films in the US and worldwide.

You mean, "Disney's further commitment to crap on Miyazaki's films?" I'd rather buy them (yes, actually pay for them) from Asian pirates than be given anything by Disney. It may work for the rest of you white devils, but I am deeply offended by their practices and in fact by everything Disney stands for. Every Disney animated film produced after 1970 (I fudge a little to be safe) has offended me. Disney offends me as an artist -- and the fact that some people may say I am not an artist does not reduce that offense whatsoever. I stand firm that Disney is an abomination to art.

There's a reason English dubbing is bad: It's the English. There is nothing that makes me hate my own people more. Not even murder.

Did not see any mention of Porco Rosso here, for people who are looking for other Miyazaki films. It is actually my least favorite, but you might check it out. It just doesn't seem to have the same "magical" appeal. Oddly enough, I don't think the lack of fantasy has anything to do with that. Castle of Cagliostro was great, and that was just a regular cartoon series movie -- almost like Scooby Doo.
posted by son_of_minya at 12:43 AM on March 23, 2003


There's a reason English dubbing is bad: It's the English. There is nothing that makes me hate my own people more. Not even murder.

If you hate the language so much, do your part and stay quiet.
posted by dogwalker at 2:15 AM on March 23, 2003


dogwalker:

If you hate the language so much, do your part and stay quiet.

That is a snappy comeback, but I'm not attacking the written word.

English is just a very dull spoken language. Japanese is no more poetic -- it's actually more monotone and less expressive IMHO -- and I am not some kind of language expert who is fluent in several languages and knows all kinds of "lingual history" and whatnot. I just think English focuses too much on accent, and being a Germanic (i.e. bad-sounding) language, it forces people to sound phoney.

Unless you're speaking in an extreme regional dialect, you are going to sound fake. The voice acting talent, the marketing angle, and just basic American culture are also to blame. I do think the language itself is at fault, though. Unless you're Crocodile Dundee or you say "nigger" every other sentence, English just doesn't sound natural to me.
posted by son_of_minya at 3:04 AM on March 23, 2003


I'd rather buy them (yes, actually pay for them) from Asian pirates than be given anything by Disney.

Then you'd also rather steal the efforts of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli? The pirates aren't paying the creators any royalties, you know. If it's just Disney you don't like, you can get the licensed R2 DVD's from many sources, including CD Japan, which has an outstanding selection, and good service. A region-selectable DVD player from DVD City, and you're on your way, with high quality media, and a clear conscience.

There's a reason English dubbing is bad: It's the English. There is nothing that makes me hate my own people more. Not even murder.

*stalks son_of_minya with a butterfly net*

Castle of Cagliostro was great, and that was just a regular cartoon series movie -- almost like Scooby Doo.

*cough* *hack* *gag*

I just think English focuses too much on accent, and being a Germanic (i.e. bad-sounding) language, it forces people to sound phoney...Unless you're Crocodile Dundee or you say "nigger" every other sentence, English just doesn't sound natural to me.

son, are you sure you wouldn't be happier on Usenet?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 4:05 AM on March 23, 2003


Slithy_Tove:

You really don't have to over-analyze everything I say (write).

There are plenty of people who would say that using a multi-region DVD player is theft. More importantly, there are people who pay lawyers to say it. I find Disney's actions contemptible, and that is just one small part of it. My saying I would pay pirates is not to say I would not pay legitimate distributors. I may even pay Disney, if I didn't hold so much hatred towards them.

The rest of your comments just don't deserve a response. If you want to mess with people, maybe you should go to Usenet, as if that's such a different place. You might as well have asked me (sarcastically) if I'm on AOL.

I didn't say anything about anyone here. I said (wrote) what I think, and what I believe is the ultimate T-R-U-T-H. Do you know that on the International Channel -- the channel that has Japanese news without subtitles -- they show dubbed Asian movies? It is extremely offensive to me. I can't help but feel that there is something seriously wrong with American culture/values/institutions/business when this happens.
posted by son_of_minya at 4:34 AM on March 23, 2003


As long as you bought the movies fair and square, there's no reason not to play them. If it makes you feel better, you can buy two DVD players and set one for region 1 and the other for region 2. (Some folks do this anyway, on the theory that it's easier to lay out an extra $100 one time than risk freezeups or service hassles after a hack).

You definitely don't want to buy pirated versions if you can help it.

I'm glad I did business with J-List instead of waiting for Disney, because even if Disney does release the identical DVD transfer, features and bonus discs (and I'll believe that when I see it!), will they also release the wonderful toys? It's fun to explain to people what Chiba Totoro or Jiji is doing on your keychain!
posted by anser at 7:35 AM on March 23, 2003


a Germanic (i.e. bad-sounding) language

Goethe und ich verbitten uns das.
posted by muckster at 9:04 AM on March 23, 2003


There are plenty of people who would say that using a multi-region DVD player is theft. More importantly, there are people who pay lawyers to say it.

Well, then, it must be true!

Seriously, I don't see how my buying the special edition of Monty Python and the Holy Grail from amazon and playing it here in Taiwan makes me a thief. It's not theft; it's a glorified company policy.

But that's another thread entirely, I guess.
posted by Poagao at 7:36 PM on March 23, 2003


There's no law preventing anyone from buying or using a multi-region DVD player, at least not in the US. The DVD City site mentioned above is in Georgia. (Our Georgia, not the other Georgia.)

I've got Spirited Away, Laputa ('Castle in the Sky'), and Kiki on pre-order from Amazon rather than getting the R2's for a couple of reasons:

1. The Buena Vista DVD's are cheaper.

2. The R2 release of Spirited Away for some insane reason seems to have been mastered for a video temperature of 9400 K (rather than the usual 6500 K), resulting in a distinct pink/red coloration when viewed at normal video settings. There has actually been a lawsuit over this, in Japan. The R1 release does not seem to have this problem.

OTOH, I'll probably get the R2 of Pom Poko, (which has English subs), because I just don't see how Disney is going to market raccoon balls. It will be a long, long time before Pom Poko hits the US market. There's no sign of Porco Rosso, either, and I'll probably get the R2 of that. But I'll wait on Nausicaa; it's Miyazaki and Ghibli's signal work, and I can't believe it won't be released soon.

Just heard Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Animated Film!

w00t!
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:24 PM on March 23, 2003


Hey, sorry. I'm not trying to bust anybody's balls here. I just felt like Slithy_Tove was attacking me personally, while making some judgement calls that some people might also consider questionable.

Of course I understand that piracy is wrong. What can I say? I'm a criminal. I just think it's the best solution, for me, while the distribution system is still messed up. Honestly, I'd probably pirate even if there was a better way, but I wouldn't try to defend it.

I didn't mean to insult Castle of Cagliostro either. Just being bluntly honest, that it's like a Scooby Doo movie. It's a really great Scooby Doo movie. I did pay for Tonari no Totoro, too, because it was a gift and I wanted my niece to have the official packaging and whatnot.

As for the English language, I speak it. If I hated it enough to get in a fight over it, I'd just stop and move to some other country. I don't think men are pretty either, but I'm not gonna cut my balls off.
posted by son_of_minya at 1:32 AM on March 24, 2003


I think son_of_minya just needs to get out more. 8) Personally, I find English to be just as expressive, poetic and lyrical in the right hands; it's just that as English speakers, we're inundated daily in the normal butchering of the language. When it comes to non-English works, we (as foreigners) tend to see the cream of that particular crop; were we natives of, say, Japan we might feel the same way about foreign languages as son_of_minya does about English.

The existence (and popularity) of "Engrish" in Japan proves my point, I think.

As for previous posters regarding Titanic-- I used that film for comparison because it was as popular in the US as Miyazaki's films have been in Japan. Frankly, I think the point would still stand with most mainstream US films. Americans (as a general rule) prefer their films as simple morality plays-- easily identified Bad Guys and Good Guys, with noone in the middle.
posted by Cerebus at 8:50 AM on March 24, 2003


I rewatched Mononoke last night and while I wholeheartedly agree about the nuanced storytelling, I don't think enough has been said here about the amazing quality of the animation. Unlike most mass-produced anime, Miyazaki's stuff is absolutely balls-to-the-wall stunning. The colors, creatures, and designs are eye-popping; there's an unparalleled richness and realism to even the smallest details. He never fudges -- the mechanics of things make sense, and you always get a very clear mental picture of the spacial relationships and layout of his locations. Plus it's just frigging beautiful. I regularly play his movies with the sound off as moving wallpaper. Gorgeous eyecandy with a heart and a soul. It doesn't get much better.
posted by muckster at 6:40 PM on March 25, 2003


« Older Soul of the Web...  |  Books For Soldiers... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments