Hayao Miyazaki drawn Concept sketches and storyboards for a proposed but never made 1971 Pippi Longstocking animated movie. The movie was abandoned when Astrid Lindgren didn't give her permission.
An English-subtitled trailer is now available for Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's latest film, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), which will premiere to English-speaking audiences at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. [more inside]
Joe Hisaishi in Budokan was a series of concerts given in August 2008 to commemorate both the Japanese theatrical premiere of Ponyo and the 25 years of musical collaboration between composer Joe Hisaishi and film maker Hayao Miyazaki. This massive concert featured performances of these signature Miyazaki film scores composed by Hisaishi, conducting from the piano, and the 200-member New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra, along with six featured vocalists, the 800 combined voices of the Ippan Koubo, Ritsuyuukai and Little Singers of Tokyo choirs, plus a 160-piece marching band. Altogether there were some 1160 musicians and singers on stage, backed by images from Miyazaki's films projected on a giant screen. The almost two hour long show is on YouTube in HD, for your viewing pleasure.
I had discovered the Animage comics version of Nausicaa, which provided my entry into the world of Japanese comics--a world which was to cause me to devote my life to bringing it to all English-speaking people.Toren Smith, a brilliant editor and translator and one of Japanese comics' first and greatest advocates in the English-speaking world, is dead. [more inside]
Back in 2006, a red sketch book started a journey around the world, traveling not through the mail, but from artist to artist. The idea came from Dice Tsutsumi and Gérald Guerlais, two animators at Blue Sky Studios. They compiled a list of 71 artists, personal friends and influential people they would like to have involved in their traveling sketch book. Dice and Gérald thought they could get it done in a year, but the book is now full, five years later. Another component of the project was to auction off the completed book and 9 reproductions, which was done in October, 2011, collecting more than 76,000 euros (100,000 US$) for the Room to Read international library-building organization. You can browse through the past travels on the Sketchtravel blog, view the participants by name or location on Sketchtravel.tv, along with video interviews and clips with 15 of the 71 artists. There are even more videos in Curio's Vimeo collection, and two informative interviews with Gérald Guerlais on NoWatch.net. [more inside]
If you recognize the name Hayao Miyazaki, it's most likely due to his anime films. But along with his involvement in animation, Miyazaki has produced some manga and illustrated story books. Part of the reason his work in still images is less known is lack of translation and distribution. That's where the fans come in, digging up and translating many Miyazaki works, back to his first published manga, which was a serious serialized work, in 1969-1970. [more inside]
Among the anime films by Hayao Miyazaki made available in English translation, Spirited Away contains the most folk and Shrine Shinto motifs. The central locale of the film is a bathhouse where a great variety of creatures, including kami, come to bathe and be refreshed. This feature, plus the portrayal of various other folk beliefs and Shrine Shinto perspectives, suggests that Miyazaki is affirming some basic Japanese cultural values which can be a source of confidence and renewal for contemporary viewers.
"In Japan, animation is not seen as the exclusive realm of children's and family films, but is often used for adult, science fiction and action stories, where it allows a kind of freedom impossible in real life. Some Hollywood films strain so desperately against the constraints of the possible that you wish they'd just caved in and gone with animation." -- Roger Ebert on anime, with this excerpt being related to Tokyo Godfathers. Ebert has been a fan of anime for a while, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki. Ebert has reviewed 6 of the 18 Studio Ghibli films released to date, and even interviewed Miyazaki with a bit of fanboy glee. More reviews and videos inside. [more inside]
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...]
More than a year ago, MetaFilter discussed a petition to bring "Spirited Away," the newest full-lenth animated movie by Hayao Miyazki, to the US. Released in Japan as Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, it is the most popular movie ever released in Japan and has it's US limited release this weekend. Do you think "Spirited Away" will "break through" to a wider American audience when Princess Mononoke didn't? What a wonderfully fantastic movie!
Japan’s Gross National Cool - Foreign Policy has an interesting article on the impact of Japanese culture and how it has replaced "Made in Japan" products as the dominant export from Japan. The author points to director Hayao Miyazaki, director/actor Takeshi Kitano, artist Takashi Murakami, and singer/songwriter Namie Amuro, as well as anime in general and Hello Kitty as examples of the global spread of Japanese culture. Do you recognize these people or their work? [more inside]