Hayao Miyazaki in Conversation with Roland Kelts – Berkley Center for Japanese Studies 2009

This video focuses on Miyazaki’s work as he was honoured with an award for his Animations that bring Japanese culture to the rest of the world. Some of the questions that are asked at the start are Miyazaki’s view on the world and how children nowadays grow up in a virtual world, how that affects them as well as some of the themes in his films such as a post-apocalyptic world. 

Miyazaki doesn’t like to draw evil figures and that is why his films don’t contain them. “To have a film where the evil figure and the good person fight them, is one way to make a film. But that means you have to draw as an animator the evil figure and it’s not very pleasant. So i decided against this.” I found this 

Miyazaki also uses his staff members as inspiration, he based Ponyo dad’s (Fujimoto) experience with raising a child on the chief Animation director’s experience.

At 41:00 they begin to talk about how Chihiro is “one of many strong, independent, curious, ambitious young female protagonists ” in Miyazaki’s films. In 2010 they were beginning to train new members of staff and of the 22 new employees only 4 of them are men and after finalising them down to a smaller number only 1 of the 4 men were hired. Miyazaki went on to say how he start making films with strong men protagonists to encourage them, this backs up that Miyazaki’s female protagonists must make some kind of impact on the younger women of today and that he wants women to feel that they can also be strong be like males.

The roles of boys and girls are different movies, in Ponyo(2009) the boy, Sosuke makes a promise to protect Ponyo and Miyazaki thinks that he wasn’t appreciated as much for doing so because he kept the promise to her and that’s what he was trying to get across. 

Miyazaki also mentions in the interview when asked about the mother in Ponyo (2009) being very powerful and strong, loyal.He responded by saying that the people who become mothers will become strong like the mother in the film. So this shows that Miyazaki wants to give women a role model they can look up to be whether they become mothers or not.

The rest of the interview talked about Miyazaki’s way of working and how he thinks about his ideas alot  and if one isn’t able to taken be taken any further he will stop thinking about it and move onto the next idea. he also discussed how they prefer drawing by hand because they’re able to get drawings in a way that a computer drawing cannot.

Some advice Miyazaki gave to help people like myself studying Animation.

  • Sketch what you see with your own eyes and have someone critique your sketches in a strict way.

Some of his influences/peers are John Lasseter and Aardman (Nick Park)

There’s a lot more information in the video but I’ve just picked out some stuff that is useful for the essay.

Hayao Miyazaki in Conversation with Roland Kelts – Berkley Center for Japanese Studies 2009


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