"I believe in the power of story. I believe that stories have an important role to play in the formation of human beings, that they can stimulate, amaze, and inspire their listeners." Happy 79th birthday to Hayao Miyazaki, one of cinema's most talented and visionary storytellers! pic.twitter.com/K2TJPDZJ22
— Tribeca (@Tribeca) January 5, 2020
Miyazaki is renowned for a number of excellent movies, but my personal favorite will always be My Neighbor Totoro. If only in tribute to my personal Mai, the baby sister who resolutely refuses to accept ‘It can’t be helped’ as the global default.
It's Hayao Miyazaki's birthday! Seems like the perfect time to enjoy a Studio Ghibli classic… https://t.co/ZGHpF2hRuR
— Little White Lies (@LWLies) January 5, 2020
Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro was released in Japan 30 years ago to little fanfare. Misjudged by financiers and shoehorned into a double bill with Isao Takahata’s much-anticipated Grave of the Fireflies, Totoro trod water until slowly, surely, it became one of the most beloved animated feature films of all time…
Some believe Totoro to be a Kami (a spirit tied to nature) belonging to the camphor tree which Mei falls onto the belly of while she’s out playing. The tagline on the original Japanese poster translates as, “These strange creatures still exist in Japan. Supposedly,” which summons thoughts of old souls and endless wisdom. Ultimately, you can project whatever you want onto Totoro. Even Miyazaki leaves open the possibility that the creatures in the film don’t really exist (although he solemnly believes it to be real, as do I)…
Aside from Totoro making a killing in merchandise revenue, those who are familiar with Miyazaki can trace the film’s modern success to his stubborn moral mind. Reluctant to put his characters into straightforward ‘good’ and ‘evil’ boxes, the Ghibli stalwart nevertheless rewards the pure of heart and punishes greed and gluttony. It’s a trait that wasn’t missed by Roger Ebert, who described Totoro’s small kingdom as, “the world we should live in, not the one that we occupy.”
As McCarthy explains, “[Totoro] extended the studio’s positive green and social credentials by tying itself so firmly into a simpler time and a society ruled by nature. I think Miyazaki does two very difficult things in this film with considerable delicacy and grace: he makes a film at a child’s pace and on a child’s level; and he allows death to assume a major role in the movie without demonising or personalising death. It’s also consummately beautiful. After almost thirty years of watching it several times a year, it still surprises me with its capacity to deliver images of almost heart-stopping beauty.”…
Happy Birthday Hayao Miyazaki!
“Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul.”
– Hayao Miyazaki pic.twitter.com/NQVzLdANDD
— 41 Strange (@41Strange) January 5, 2020
Happy birthday to Hayao Miyazaki, the person behind Studio Ghibli films! His films are mesmerizing and so engaging. Every movie I have watched of his always left me with many emotions tell amazing tales that leave you interested in the worlds! Thank you for these beautiful films! pic.twitter.com/ti1g7mMudV
— BlueJay Williams (@BlueJ630) January 5, 2020