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The influence and legacy of Hayao Miyazaki

After an illustrious career spanning four decades, Miyazaki has created a legacy of iconic films beloved by millions worldwide.  Films such as Spirited Away are a fixture on lists of the best films of all time and Miyazaki is often cited as one of the greatest directors in history.  Hollywood’s best acting talent have provided their voices to the English language versions of his films, including Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Tina Fey, Matt Damon, Dakota Fanning, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and William H. Macy.

As you can read below, Miyazaki’s influence and admirers span the worlds of animation, film and TV.
Has Miyazaki influenced you in any way?


John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer of Pixar, director of Toy Story)
“Miyazaki is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time.  At Pixar, when we have a problem and we can’t seem to solve it, we often take one of Mr. Miyazaki’s films and look at a scene in our screening room for a shot of inspiration. And it always works! We come away amazed and inspired. Toy Story owes a huge debt of gratitude to the films of Mr. Miyazaki.”

The Simpsons
Following the announcement of Miyazaki’s retirement, The Simpsons paid tribute to the legendary animator in this scene.

Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai)
On My Neighbor Totoro, legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa commented:

“It’s anime, but I was so moved. I really loved Nekobus. You wouldn’t come up with such an idea. I cried when I watched Kiki’s Delivery Service. Really, all the talents I want for the movie industry have gone to the anime, so the movie industry has to really work hard. We have to make such movies that they make young people want to come.”


Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Cronos)

In December 2013, Miyazaki fan Guillermo del Toro presented a masterclass on the animator at a screening of Laputa: Castle in the Sky in Toronto.  He stated that the influence of Miyazaki is present throughout all of his films.   Read this blogger’s account of the masterclass here.


The Guardian
“Miyazaki’s stories are frequently considered children’s fare but they are deeper than they look – like the best fairy tales, they conceal dark, very adult themes beneath their surfaces.”


“Miyazaki has been crafting films more lusciously illustrated and rapturously imaginative than almost anything else on the silver screen.”


Star Trek
One of the alien species in Star Trek: The Next Generation is named “Nausicaäns” after the heroine in Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind popular manga series and film.



The Wind Rises
 In cinemas Feb 27


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