Hayao Miyazaki is Japan’s greatest living animator. His illustrious career spans 50 years. He has directed, written, and produced over 20 animated features – from full-length and short films to TV series.
This auteur is responsible for Japan’s most celebrated and world-renowned animated films such as Spirited Away (the only non-American winner in the Best Animated Feature category of the Academy Awards), Princess Mononoke (the first animated film to win Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards), and Howl’s Moving Castle (nominated in the Best Animated Feature category of the Academy Awards).
The words magical, visually arresting, and epical are often used to describe his body of work. Miyazaki likes to take his audience to strange lands that only his genius can envision. He introduced us to otherworldly creatures and characters that reflect the good side of humanity.
It’s terribly difficult, if not impossible, to choose a favourite among Miyazaki’s film so let me pick my top three instead.
3. Spirited Away
“Spirited Away is the story of a girl who is forced to survive in a bizarre otherworld. She works in a bathhouse for gods and spirits after her parents are turned into pigs by a sorceress.”
2. My Neighbour Totoro
“When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.”
1. Princess Mononoke
“The plot centers on the struggle between the animal spirits who inhabit the forest and the humans who exploit the forest for industry.”