Styles and Themes of Hayao Miyazaki

Download Styles and Themes of Hayao Miyazaki

Post on 03-Jun-2018

217 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • 8/12/2019 Styles and Themes of Hayao Miyazaki

    1/6

    Styles and themes of Hayao MiyazakiFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese film director, screenwriter and producer whose animated works are characterised

    by several recurring themes and motifs.

    Contents

    1 Good and evil

    2 Environmentalism

    3 Love

    4 Pacifism

    5 Flight

    6 Politics7 Feminism

    8 Children and childhood

    9 Water

    10 References

    11 External links

    Good and evilMost of Miyazaki's characters are dynamic, capable of change, and not easily caricatured into traditional good-ev

    dichotomies. Many menacing characters have redeeming features, and are not firmly defined as antagonists. In

    Princess Mononoke, Lady Eboshi destroys the forest for industrial raw materials without the concerns for animals

    life; however lepers and former prostitutes that she shelters have great respect for her. The film culminates in

    reconciliation, rather than the vanquishing of some irredeemable evil. This theme is unusual for an animated film, as

    most films in the medium clearly divide good and evil.

    Miyazaki stated in Spirited Away, "the heroine [is] thrown into a place where the good and bad dwell together.

    [...] She manages not because she has destroyed the 'evil,' but because she has acquired the ability to survive."[1]

    Miyazaki has explained that the lack of clearly defined good and evil is because of his views of the 21st century as

    complex time, where old norms no longer are true and need to be re-examined. Simple stereotypes cannot be use

    even in children's films. Even though Miyazaki sometimes feels pessimistic about the world, he prefers to show

    children a positive world view instead.[2]

    Some of Miyazaki's early films featured distinctly evil villains, as in Castle of Cagliostroor Castle in the Sky;

    other films are remarkable for having no villains at all, as inKiki's Delivery ServiceandMy Neighbor Totoro.

    Some of these have a strong flavour of traditional Japanese culture and Shinto, or ancient animistic spiritual beliefs

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichotomyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shintohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_culturehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pessimismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitutionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprosyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichotomyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayao_Miyazaki
  • 8/12/2019 Styles and Themes of Hayao Miyazaki

    2/6

    Environmentalism

    Miyazaki's films often emphasize environmentalism and the Earth's fragility,[3]especially in the context of critiquing

    development and pollution.

    InMy Neighbor Totoro,the great tree tops a hillside on which magical creatures reside, and the family worships

    this tree. This ecological consciousness is echoed inPrincess Mononokewith the giant primordial forest, trees,

    flowers and wolves. In Spirited Away, Miyazaki's environmental concerns surface in the "stink spirit", a river spiritwho has been polluted and who must be cleansed in the bath house. Miyazaki explains in the DVD commentary

    that the inspiration for this scene was a personal experience of his own when he helped to clean a polluted river

    near his home. This theme is also reflected in the story of the river spirit Haku, whose river had been destroyed by

    building project. In Miyazaki's most recent film, Ponyo, Ponyo's father shows a strong dislike for humans and their

    filth. This is evidenced by the disgusting condition of the bay area where Sosuke lives and the net catching nothing

    but garbage that also forces Ponyo into a glass bottle.

    InPrincess Mononoke, Castle in the SkyandNausica of the Valley of the Wind,the ecological paradise is

    threatened by military men and violent state-controlled armies. In each film, the conflict between the natural way o

    life and the military destruction of culture, land and resources is central to the plight of the protagonists. When battlscenes are shown in each, the militaristic music and ecological destruction is paramount to the endangerment of the

    inhabitants of the villages.

    In an interview with The New Yorker, Miyazaki claimed that much of modern culture is "thin and shallow and fake

    and "not entirely jokingly" looked forward to an apocalyptic age in which "wild green grasses" take over. [4]

    Growing up in the Shwa period was an unhappy time for him because "nature the mountains and rivers wa

    being destroyed in the name of economic progress."[5]Nonetheless, he suggests that adults should not "impose the

    vision of the world on children."[6]

    Love

    Many of Miyazaki's films deal with the power of love. In Miyazaki's films, the power of love is enough to break

    curses set upon people. In "Spirited Away", Kamajii tells Haku that Chihiro saved him from Zeniba's curse using

    the power of her love for him. In "Howl's Moving Castle" Sophie's confidence in herself and her love for Howl

    breaks the curse laid upon her by the Wicked Witch of the Waste. In Miyazaki's screenplay of "Whisper of the

    Heart" Shizuku's love for Seiji makes her follow her passion of writing and write the book while Seiji is away in

    Cremona, Italy. In "Ponyo", if Sousuke's love for Ponyo was true then the world would be saved. In "Porco

    Rosso", Fio, joyous that Porco won the competition, gives him a kiss; as Porco and Curtis are leaving, Curtis sees

    Porco's face and reacts with surprise, implying that Porco may have reverted to human form after Fio's kiss.

    Pacifism

    BothNausicaandPrincess Mononokefeature strong anti-war themes. Ending the humans' hateful war with

    themselves and nature becomes the driving force of Ashitaka inPrincess Mononoke. In the manga version of

    Nausica, Miyazaki spends much time depicting the brutality and suffering of war in graphic detail through most o

    the story. The post-apocalyptic world is filled with remains of the old civilizations that ended with wars and the

    destruction of the environment. InLaputa: Castle in the Sky, the military is portrayed as mindlessly and needlessl

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porco_Rossohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisper_of_the_Hearthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howl%27s_Moving_Castlehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirited_Awayhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sh%C5%8Dwa_periodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Yorkerhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirited_Away#Cast_and_charactershttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmentalism
  • 8/12/2019 Styles and Themes of Hayao Miyazaki

    3/6

    Nausica flying her Mehve over the

    Valley of the Wind.

    violent, greedy, and heavyhanded. InHowl's Moving Castle, Howl's negative view of the war is clear and he

    refuses to join the fight in any official capacity. Despite this, he frequently participates on the magical plane of the

    war as a demon bird battling "hack" wizards, in hopes he might have a positive impact.

    In 2003, when Spirited Awaywon the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, Miyazaki did not attend the

    awards show personally. He later explained that it was because he "didnt want to visit a country that was bombin

    Iraq".[7]

    Flight

    Flight, especially human flight, is a recurring theme in Miyazaki's films. He

    thinks of flight as a form of liberation from gravity.[8]The Studio Ghibli

    2002 short filmImaginary Flying Machinesis completely devoted to

    the wonders of flight and is voiced by Miyazaki himself.

    In addition to the many aerial devices and drawings ofLaputa: Castle in

    the Sky,which is a flying city, this theme is found in Nausica piloting her

    Mehve and the airborne armies inNausica of the Valley of the Wind,Kiki riding her broomstick and watching dirigibles fly over her city in

    Kikis Delivery Service, the large Totoro carrying Satsuki and Mei

    across the night sky in My Neighbor Totoro, Chihiro riding on Haku's

    back when in his dragon form in Spirited Away and Howl and Sophie soaring above their town in Howl's Moving

    Castle. The protagonist in Porco Rosso is a pilot and the film is focused on flying, airplanes and aerial combat, as

    well as the connection between flight, Ascension and the afterlife.

    Interestingly, one of Miyazaki's most acclaimed films,Princess Mononoke, does not contain a flying sequence, or

    any flying characters. However, it could be argued that the scenes in which Yakul leaps across large rocks and

    ledges are moments of "flight".

    Politics

    The influence of Miyazaki's early interest in Marxism is apparent in some of his films, such asPorco Rosso. In

    Castle in the Sky, the working class is portrayed positively. InFuture Boy Conan, the ideologies of the friendly

    town High Harbor and the antagonistic nation Industria are reversed from their source in the (Cold War-era)

    Alexander Key novel The Incredible Tideon which the series is basedthe originally Communist Industria

    becomes a runaway capitalist state, and the capitalist High Harbor becomes a farming commune.

    Miyazaki abandoned Marxism while creating his mangaNausicaa of the Valley of Wind. However, Miyazaki stilholds many socialist ideas and is critical of capitalism, globalization, and their impacts on modern life. Commenting

    on the 1954 Animal Farm animated film, he has said that "exploitation is not only found in communism, capitalism i

    a system just like that. I believe a company is common property of the people that work there. But that is a

    socialistic idea."[9]

    Feminism

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm_(1954_film)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalizationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Incredible_Tidehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Keyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_Warhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Boy_Conanhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Mononokehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porco_Rossohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howl%27s_Moving_Castle_(film)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirited_Awayhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Neighbor_Totorohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirigiblehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiki_(Kiki%27s_Delivery_Service)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausica%C3%A4_(character)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_Flying_Machineshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flighthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Warhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausica%C3%A4_(fictional_character)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MEHVE_-_Nausicaa_of_the_valley_of_the_winds.jpg
  • 8/12/2019 Styles and Themes of Hayao Miyazaki

    4/6

    Hayao Miyazaki

    Miyazaki has been called a feminist by Studio Ghibli President Toshio Suzuki, in reference to his attitude to female

    workers.[10]This is evident in the all-female factories of Porco Rosso and Princess Mononoke, as well as the

    matriarchalbath-house of Spirited Away. All of Miyazaki's films are populated by strong female protagonists that

    go againstgender roles common in Japanese animation and fiction,[11]from pirate captains to industrialists. Even in

    lighter filmssuch as Kiki's Delivery Service, all of the leading characters are professional women such as artists

    (Ursula),bakers (Orsono), fashion-designers (Maki) and witches (Kiki and Kokiri). Miyazaki even goes more int

    depth withfeminism when choosing which time period to write his stories in. For example, Miyazaki said that he

    chose to write Princess Mononoke during the Muromachi period because it "was a world in which chaos andchange were the norm. It was a more fluid period, when there were no distinctions between peasants and a

    samurai, when women were bolder and freer".[12]

    Children and childhood

    Many of Miyazaki's works

    deal with childhood. For

    example,My Neighbor

    Totorohastwo young girlswho, unlikeadults, can see the

    spirit world, and inPonyo on the Cliff by the Seaa boy befriends a magic creature from the sea. BothKiki's

    Delivery Serviceand Spirited Awaydeal with growing up.

    Miyazaki has expressed strong feelings about childhood, saying that it's a paradisical time when "you're protected

    by your parents and unaware of the problems around you". His views of children in the modern world are a bit

    worried, though, as he wonders about their dependence on the "virtual world" and the lack of contact with the

    natural world. Because of this, he creates his films inspired by children near himself, with an aim to "understand the

    world".[5]

    Water

    Water, or, more specifically, retrograde fluidity, is a recurring theme in opposition to the Ascension symbolism of

    flight (cf. Porco Rosso). Miyazakis characters are often on the verge of discorporating into liquid entirely: from th

    stink-demon, to the river dragon spirit Haku in Spirited Away and the God-Warrior at the climax of Nausicaa to

    the globularhenchmen of the Witch of the Waste in Howl's Moving Castle. This theme is pivotal throughout 2009'

    Ponyo. This conflict between the two themes of flight and watery dissolution is best embodied in the seaplanes of

    Porco Rosso, the heroes being able to navigate through both worlds. Water symbolically represents the

    contradictions of entrapment and freedom, life and death.

    Miyazaki has stated his warm appreciation for Shinto water purification rituals, and these have been cited as the

    inspirationfor the role of water in Spirited Away: the characters of Haku the river dragon and the polluted river

    spirit; the setting and function of the bathhouse itself.[13]Rain as an element is also a key plot device in both Kiki's

    Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro.

    References

    1. ^Alvin Lu, editor ; introduction by Hayao Miyazaki (2002). The Art Of Miyazaki's Spirited Away. Viz

    ...children's souls are the inheritors of historical memory from previous generations

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Neighbour_Totorohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiki%27s_Delivery_Servicehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirited_Awayhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shintohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porco_Rossohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponyohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howl%27s_Moving_Castlehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausicaahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirited_Awayhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porco_Rossohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_realityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiki%27s_Delivery_Servicehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirited_Awayhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Mononokehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porco_Rossohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism
  • 8/12/2019 Styles and Themes of Hayao Miyazaki

    5/6

    Communications Inc. p. 15. ISBN 1-56931-777-1.

    2. ^Yves Montmayeur (2005). Ghibli The Miyazaki Temple(Documentary film). Paris.

    3. ^http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=2:167694~T1

    4. ^Talbot, Margaret (2005-01-10). "The Animated Life"

    (http://web.archive.org/web/20060524092154/http://www.newyorker.com/online/content/?

    050117on_onlineonly01) (via the Internet Archive). The New Yorker. Archived from the original

    (http://www.newyorker.com/online/content/?050117on_onlineonly01) on 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2007-06-07. "He

    said, not entirely jokingly, that he looks forward to the time when Tokyo is submerged by the ocean and the NTV

    towerbecomes...