Hayao Miyazaki

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Best animator.

Japan surely makes some of the best animation directors ever lived, the only thing I could ask from this man is more animations.

In 1995, Miyazaki began work on Princess Mononoke. Starring the voices of Yuriko Ishida, Yōji Matsuda, Akihiro Miwa and Yūko Tanaka, the story is about a struggle between the animal spirits inhabiting the forest and the humans exploiting the forest for industry, culminating in an uneasy co-existence and boundary transcending relationships between the main characters. In Mononoke he revisits the ecological and political themes and continues his cinematic exploration of the transience of existence he began in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Both films have their roots in ideas and artwork he created in the late 1970s and early 1980s but Helen McCarthy notes that Miyazaki’s vision has developed, “from the utopian visions of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind to the mature and kindly humanism of Princess Mononoke“. The film was released on July 19, 1997 and was both a financial and critical success; it won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Picture. Yvonne Tasker notes, “Princess Mononoke marked a turning point in Miyazaki’s career not merely because it broke Japanese box office records, but also because it, arguably, marked the emergence (through a distribution deal with Disney) into the global animation markets”. Miyazaki went into semi-retirement after directing Princess Mononoke. In working on the film, Miyazaki redrew 80,000 of the film’s frames himself. He also stated at one point that Princess Mononoke would be his last film. Tokuma Shoten merged with Studio Ghibli that June.

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