Miyazaki Mayhem!

Posted March 16, 2010 in

As soon as Walt Disney cryogenically froze himself beneath Cinderella’s Castle inside Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom theme park in 1966, the world of animation lacked a leader capable of shattering the limits of children’s fantasies. On the other side of the globe, in Tokyo, Japan, a young animator by the name of Hayao Miyazaki was already creating a social stir with his never-ending creativeness with conceptual drawings and story ideas.

Fast-forward 44 years and Miyazaki has become a world-renowned animation director whose films attract both young and old with their dazzling visuals and ingenious narratives.

Along with the DVD/Blu-ray release of Ponyo (see March Cinemagraph review), The Walt Disney Company has made it their mission to distribute Miyazaki’s earlier works for the next generation of cartoon aficionados (and for us older folks as well).

With Miyazaki, you really can’t go wrong by watching any of his titles, new or old. The joy driving these endeavors can be witnessed in every frame as the characters venture on unbelievable journeys that provide children with mature story arches while transporting adults back to their imagination-crazed childhoods.

The redistributed titles include:

Castle in the Sky (1986) – In this well-orchestrated aerial adventure, two juveniles attempt to elude an assault of shady government officials and greedy sky pirates as they journey to a forgotten civilization floating in the clouds to rediscover the young girl’s origins.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) – Two sisters move with their father to Japan’s countryside in order to be in closer proximity to their ill mother’s hospital. While venturing to the nearby forest, they discover a delightfully entertaining mystical creature that brings joy and exhilaration back into their melancholy-filled lives.

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) – An obstinate young witch-in-training and her mouthy cat must spend a year away from home in order to complete her schooling. As she utilizes her flying capabilities to launch a distribution company, which catches the attention of a local boy obsessed with flight, trouble arrives when her anxieties erase her magical powers.

Check out Jimmy Martin's SLUG Cinemagraph!