I was having trouble deciding what today’s post should be about (for once I had more than one idea!) when I came across this bit of news on Twitter, tweeted by Pam Van Hylkama Vlieg:
Hayao Miyazaki is retiring.
Ten bucks says most of you don’t know who he is, but probably know one of his films: Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Ponyo.
My personal favorite was Howl’s Moving Castle. Diana Wynne Jones’ fantasy story was the perfect fodder for Miyazaki’s imagination, and the story of a young girl left by circumstance to look after an egotistical wizard was full of wimsy and adventure. All of his films are, really. We’ve met forest spirits and coal spirits, totoros and cat buses. The stories are often built around themes of respecting nature and environmentalism (the most obvious being Ponyo), and every one is a fun trip into the mind of a wildly creative man. Known for his hand-drawn cells, he’s who I think of when I think of anime.
If you haven’t seen a Miyazaki film, I’d start with Castle. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch a movie. Or four. Happy Labor Day!