Miyazaki in America
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Miyazaki in AmericaDavid GoerzCOM 329Dr. Neuendorf
BackgroundBorn January 5, 1941 in Bunkyo, Tokyo, JapanBegan his animation career at Toei, where he stirred the pot, including leading a labor dispute and influencing script changes on a feature early on.Co-Founded Studio Ghibli in 1985Married to animator Akemi OtaFather of Director Goro Miyazaki (Tales from Earthsea , From Up on Poppy Hill )See also: Studio Ghibli powerpoint
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)A peaceful princess works to halt a war brewing in a post-apocalyptic worldBased on a Manga of the same name, which Miyazaki wrote and illustrated, and continued after the film's release.Introduces themes of environmentalism, flight, and the horrors of war, as well as the strong female leads which are prevalent in many of Miyazaki's later films.Trailer
Nausicaa in AmericaOriginally saw a heavily-edited release in America as Warriors of the Wind. These edits were designed to make the film fit better with America's child-centric animation industry, but significantly altered the plot and message of the film.Miyazaki was so displeased with the edits that he has since asked fans to ignore this version entirely.Re-dubbed and re-released to American audiences in an unedited form in 2005, complete with a cast including such stars as Patrick Stuart and Uma Thurman.
Princess Mononoke (1997)A simple villager in feudal Japan becomes entrenched in a war between an industrial mining colony and a band of forest spirits including San, a feral human girl raised by a wolf goddess.Returns to themes of environmentalism and war, as well as a strong female lead.First animated feature to win Best Picture in the Japan Academy PrizeTrailer
Princess Mononoke in AmericaReleased by Miramax, with a credible cast of voice talentsReceived critical acclaim, called one of the best films of the year by Roger Ebert.After pressure from Miramax for Miyazaki to allow the studio to make cuts to the film, a Ghibli producer reportedly sent Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein a katana along with a message saying No cuts.
Spirited Away (2001)A young girl stumbles upon a magical world on the edges of our own, and finds herself pressed into service at a bathhouse for the many creatures which inhabit it.Explores themes of fantasy, family, and childhood seen his earlier films such as My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)Trailer
Spirited Away in AmericaDubbed and released by Disney, although with less then their full corporate might.Like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away received critical acclaim, and was the first Japanese film to receive the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.While the film is exceedingly Japanese in cultural tone (given that half of the film takes place in a bath house) the universality of its themes, and similarity to stories such as Alice in Wonderland, give western audiences a touchstone for understanding the film.
Other FilmsStudio Ghibli's distribution arrangement with Disney continues to allow the english versions of Miyazaki's films to enjoy production values and publicity not afforded earlier workHowl's Moving Castle (2004), and Ponyo (2008) both had star-studded english-language casts, including such names a Christian Bale and Liam Neeson.Many of his earlier films have been redubbed and re-released in recent yearsMy Neighbor Totoro (1988) re-released with star cast in 2006