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Documentary explores essence of humanity in films of Hayao Miyazaki

By Aleisha Riboldi, RocketNews24

Hayao Miyazaki film buffs will appreciate the popular video documentary “Hayao Miyazaki – The Essence of Humanity” created by Lewis Bond, an English film maker. The 16-minute video, featuring a montage of Miyazaki’s much-loved animated films, beautifully explores human nature, Miyazaki’s vision, and the universal appeal of his movies.

Bond recently released the video on his YouTube channel, Channel Chriswell. He interviewed Miyazaki for the documentary and the final product is a montage of Miyazaki films which brings together various recurring motifs throughout his works which explore the essence of humanity. The video documents Miyazaki’s humble beginnings as a manga artist to success as one of the greater animators in history drawing audiences worldwide.

Bond’s video is inspiring, insightful, and delves into the essence of humanity as explored in Miyazaki’s film. Through the simplicity of animation, we understand the complexities of reality. Miyazaki’s world of fictional characters are a reflection of life and human nature.

In the words of Miyazaki on Studio Ghibli: “Its success is not a priority. What’s important is that you are doing what you want. Our foremost objective here is making good films.” Miyazaki is an artist who is passionate about his craft rather than profit. This is reflected in his films which prioritise good and integrity over evil.

As Lewis points out in his video essay, Miyazaki’s dexterity and creativity have dazzled audiences around the world. He is a master in his craft and proves that cartoons and animation are not just for children. Indeed, Miyazaki’s films transcend age and cultures. His films aim to help us understand the human condition. Miyazaki conveys this through delving into the emotion of his characters and the subtleties of empathy and reality.

Miyazaki films such as "My Neighbor Totoro," "The Wind Rises," "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke" are prime examples of his distinctive style because of their emotional element. Despite the surreal and often fantastical circumstances that his characters fall into, at the core of all his stories is a sense of realism. Miyazaki has a talent for depicting human behaviour through detailed character movement. The emphasis on emotion and imagery is key, rather than plot.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what makes a Miyazaki film a Miyazaki film, or the universal appeal of Miyazaki, Bond’s video essay does an excellent job of breaking it down.

Source: designtaxi

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 3-D tribute to Hayao Miyazaki hits in all the right places -- Can you find your favorite Ghibli characters in this portrait of Hayao Miyazaki? -- Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki says the anime industry’s problem is that it’s full of anime fans

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Cartoons... :-)

-6 ( +1 / -7 )


beautiful art :-)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@papigiulio - "beautiful art :-)"

Yes, and Micky Mouse is Shakespeare!!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Miyazaki's films absolutely wonderful. Well worth your time if you haven't seen them. And if you've seen them, you already know that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@recherche88 - "And if you've seen them, you already know that"

Yes, I saw SPIRITED AWAY once and thought it was a nice cartoon... :-)

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I also never understood the high praise of this cartoonist. I've seen 2 or three of them and found myself snoozing pretty quickly in each case. He does have ideas about feminism and environmentalism, etc., so I can't say there's nothing in them. But, I never saw the "deep genius." I don't know...I'm trying to think of a cartoon that I have really liked...Well, anyway, these cartoons always seemed like mediocre children's entertainment.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Maudlin, manipulative and melodramatic, Miyazaki's films can offer no profound insights into the human experience, because the actors are not human, thus limiting all dramatic action to the auteur's perspective - which is why Miyazaki chose the inherently safe genre of anime, where belief is suspended by definition, and criticism grounded in realism easily batted away. While I`ve read some reasonably compelling reviews of his films that claim he's after much bigger game and that the use of animation masks a subversive sub-text in many of his films, for my money Miyazak's worki simply offers up pseudo-catharsis for the emotionally challenged, in contrast with great films by directors like Ozu, Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ichikawa, Oshima, Imamura, Itami and others that -sadly - are now the stuff of film courses and art-house retrospectives.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@anotherepat Absolutely 1000% Miyazaki doesn't deserved to be mentioned within the same sentence as Ozu. Ozu was a master of the sublime, a god of cinema. Mizoguchi was also a genius. But no need to limit the discussion of to Japanese. I agree, I don't get why such a fuss is made of Miyazaki. Now South Park, there's a cartoon that get's my toes tapping. "shut your..."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Miyazaki's films can offer no profound insights into the human experience, because the actors are not human, thus limiting all dramatic action to the auteur's perspective

By extension, presumably no written work of fiction can offer profound insights into the human experience either. As one famous cartoon character once said of "real" movies, "Movies aren't stupid. They fill us with romance and hatred and revenge fantasies. Lethal Weapon showed us that suicide is funny.”

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I also watched PORCO ROSSO once, and that was a nice cartoon too... but... then I felt intellectually dirty and had to go upstairs and read a book!!... :-(

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm not a fan of Ghibli movies, as I don't 'get' them. But they must have something to them, or they wouldn't be so popular with so many people. So I just leave the movies to those people. If they enjoy the movies and find some meaning from them, then good on them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In a world of fast cash and stupid movies, Miyazaki films are a safe refuge with charming stories. The themes tend to repeat though so maybe not for everyone but with his career coming to and end there's no clear alternatives and that is the real loss

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@sf2k I don't mind repeating themes. Ozu and Rohmer hit the same themes over and over but I still love them. I actually like repeating themes or coherence of vision in work. I'm open to hearing why people love them. For me, they made no lasting impression and, if I didn't already know it, I'd be shocked to learn the director is the object of such passionate praise. But yeah, let people enjoy what they want of course.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I also watched PORCO ROSSO once, and that was a nice cartoon too... but... then I felt intellectually dirty and had to go upstairs and read a book

Let me guess .... Da Vinci Code?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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