Miyazaki and Son

If anybody is in need of some tough love from Dr. Phil, it’s probably Hayao Miyazaki and his eldest son Goro. This Reuters article about GEDO SENKI (TALES OF EARTHSEA), the first film by Goro Miyazaki, is quite revealing, sad and funny all at the same time. Among the details revealed in the piece:

  • Goro Miyazaki says, “For Hayao Miyazaki, now that I’ve made one movie, as far as he’s concerned I’ve become a sort of rival.”

  • The opening scene of Goro Miyazaki’s film has a prince stabbing his father to death.

  • The elder Miyazaki didn’t directly tell his son his thoughts about the film, but relayed them through a Studio Ghibli producer.

  • Goro Miyazaki wrote a blog entry about his father titled, “Zero Points as a Father, Top Points as a Director,” and claims that “From the time I became aware of things up to the present, we have almost never talked.”

    I must say though, in one sense it’s refreshing to see somebody like Hayao Miyazaki who cares so much about his art that he’s willing to put it above his family’s happiness. Great works of animation like SPIRITED AWAY and PRINCESS MONONOKE certainly aren’t made without sacrifice. Perhaps animation would be better in the States if more people were willing to make those type of sacrifices for their films.

    UPDATE: Just in case it wasn’t clear that the entire post above was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek, let me say that I was not seriously suggesting that the quality of American animation directly correlates to how little time one spends with their family. I feel silly even writing that, but judging from the number of emails I’ve received, a lot of people didn’t quite get that (due to my own poor communication skills).