Happy 70th Birthday, Hayao Miyazaki!

Hayao Miyazaki
Happy birthday to Japan’s most successful and influential animated filmmaker of all time, Hayao Miyazaki, who turns 70 today! I’ll take the opportunity to recommend this article about Miyazaki from a 2005 edition of The New Yorker.


  • http://www.borishiestand.com Boris Hiestand

    Happy birthday maestro.
    Here’s a clip from the upcoming Yonebayashi film:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRxBsdl28u4&feature=player_embedded
    Makes me wonder once again what the hell I’m doing in 3d.

  • http://www.jinhienlau.com jinnaboy

    Happy birthday to Hayao Miyazaki, may your senility provide us with more films with confounded anti-narrative arcs.

    (b4 the lynch mob gets to me, i just wanna state that he is truthfully the single greatest inspiration for me as an animator.)

    • Iritscen

      I believe the wandering feeling in some of his films is due to his straight-ahead writing-by-storyboarding technique.

      • Tee

        I can see that. The stories are told in a very dynamic, visual way.

        The organic flow of Miyazaki’s films has always put me in the mind of John Stanley’s amazing work writing Little Lulu comics. The have the same sense of random occurrence, and you can’t anticipate what’s coming next. I love them both.

  • Oliver

    Art-house films aren’t automatically “anti-narrative” — they’re anti-movies-which-are-NOTHING-BUT-narrative, movies in which overdetermined plots ceaselessly jerk the actors around like hyperactive puppets, leaving no time for proper atmosphere, characterization or dialogue.

    Omedetou Tanjoubi, Miyazaki-sensei.

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron B.

    No doubt a great storyteller (and a killer storyboard artist, too). Still a shame though, that the critical success of his films in international cinema hasn’t translated to an interest in widely distributing other anime titles in the U.S., theatrically.

    Some of his films are flawed, true, but on more than a few occasions it was because he began with such an immense narrative scope, only to inevitably find he couldn’t manage the production timeline very well. He cares so much, he overthinks things. (SPIRITED AWAY, though quite charming, is probably the largest example of this… the film was more than a year and a half behind schedule, right? He ended up having to change the villain of the film during production.)

  • http://robertkohr.com Robert Kohr

    Several years ago I had the chance to weasel into the press line at a MOMA premiere in New York. I asked him what advice he would give young independent animation filmmakers. He thought for a moment and said “Make really good movies and work really hard at it,” then he added, “being poor, being young, and having no name is the best way to become a great creator. That’s what Mao Tse-Tung said.” This is Sage advice from an animation master and definitely something to mull over a bit.

    • Iritscen

      Yesterday I was watching an interview with the animation director of “Castle of Cagliostro” (Miyazaki was the director/co-writer of that film), and he said something similar. In his time, young animators worked harder because they were poor. He didn’t see the same drive to create great things in the modern generation because everyone was “rich” now. P.S., he said they made “Cagliostro” in four months.

      • http://robertkohr.com Robert Kohr

        Its hard in this day and age to be “poor” at least in the US we are forced to job search immediately to pay back gobs of student loans, that or you come from a family that can afford college. When all is said and done you get looped into the trappings of the new American Dream, rent a nicer apartment buy a house, get that new phone… I sometimes feel I loose site of what’s important… sigh.

      • Peter J Casey

        You need to cut your ties with things and objects. I move around, constantly putting myself in a poor situation.

        Its very easy to animate and create when your life depends on it.

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    Miyazaki is the single biggest reason I am in animation today, and why I was interested so early on. Happy Birthday to the Grand Master.

  • Alissa

    Happy Birthday, Miyazaki-sama. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • Mike Johnson

    I love all of his films, and, had he given us only one of his many animations, he would still be worthy of all of the accolades he has received, in my honest opinion.

    Truly a happy birthday to him, and a happy day for all of us who love the art form of animation!

  • http://Nicktorious.net NicklasNN

    Happy Birthday, Miyazaki-san! You’ll probably never this but you’re the reason I gave anime a chance.

  • Santiago

    Cheers to Hayao Miyazaki. hope he will be with us for many more.
    also I finally received my copy of Starting Point yesterday(coincidence?. yes!) so i’ll be reading it to celebrate this occasion…or maybe watch Porco Rosso for the 1,000th time…

  • http://olvesblog.blogspot.com/ Olve

    Happy birthday Miyazaki-san!
    By the way, it was funny to discover they’ve actually used one of my photos from the Ghibli Museum in the New Yorker article. :)

  • Michel Van

    Happy birthday Sensei
    have good health, so you can make more of those Dreams
    Wat we call here: Animation…

  • http://animationinsider.net Cody S.

    Whenever I see a black and white photo of an elderly ‘celeb’ that I love, who is only occasionally in the news – my gut reaction is “Oh crap!” out of sadness of their passing.

    Imagine my embarrassment that it’s just his birthday. Whoops!

    Happy B-Day Miyazaki. May you celebrate many a more without ever leaving your drawing desk. :)

  • http://www.stringstornasunder.blogspot.com Chris Powell

    Happy Birthday sir, you are quite quite gifted.

  • http://www.crisafullidoodles.blogspot.com/ Marc Crisafulli

    A true visionary of the medium whose stories succeed on their own terms and without compromise. Creator of worlds! Happy Birthday.

  • Sarah

    Happy Birthday Hayao Miyazaki!!!

  • http://new-savanna.blogspot.com/search/label/Miyazaki Bill Benzon

    Happy Birthday, Miyazaki-san!

  • http://thatssokraven.livejournal.com/ Kelly Tindall

    I hope that he gets a chance to take a walk in the forest today. Happy birthday.

  • Lurcheeeeee

    Guy needs a bow-tie. Only because he looks kinda like Chuck Jones.

  • http://detaillibrary.org/ dilly

    Two days before my birthday! =D

  • Steamboat Bill

    It seems that the only reason kids go into animation today is because of anime, sigh. I notice that many of these posters don’t hang out on the Golden Age posts.

    • Santiago

      I’ve recently started posting in this forum and I hope to comment on everything in the future. My love for animation might have started with Anime but I’ve been very disappointed with most of what is out there now days. Recently I’ve been really into the old black and white animation films from Disney and Fleisher Studios and I hope to follow the history of animation from there. However, I don’t really consider Hayao Miyazaki’s films Anime, they are better than that. He is one of the last living Masters.

  • Steamboat Bill

    Thank you for preventing me from stereotyping the situation it just seems on the surface that many kids don’t show much artistic influence from old school material. Your right Myiazaki is a creative genius though one of the few that isn’t dead.

  • Milo Thatch

    I know MANY anime fans, and believe me, 98% of them don’t have any artistic talent nor any desire to celebrate their anime love by doing little more than running around in Naruto headbands while eating Pocky.

    If someone is inspired by anime to see what the rest of the animation world has to offer, I say give them time and cheer them on! After all, an un-educated anime fan is no better than someone who thinks Pixar makes the only great CG films.

    Once again, happy birthday Miyazaki-san.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    A very Happy Birthday,Miyazaki-san!