I love animated films. Those of you who know me know that I’m a fan of the movies of Hayao Miyazaki, the acclaimed writer/director whose films cause many people throughout the world to geek out. (Okay, some of you who know me may not know this.) My first Miyazaki film was the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, after its Stateside release in 2002. After watching it on the big screen and developing an almost stalker-like love for it, I wanted to see what else Miyazaki and his colleagues had to offer. Since then I’ve seen these Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films:
• Castle in the Sky
• Porco Rosso
• Princess Mononoke
• The Castle of Cagliostro (a Miyazaki film, but not a Studio Ghibli film)
• Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
• The Cat Returns
• Kiki’s Delivery Service
• My Neighbors the Yamadas
• Whisper of the Heart
• My Neighbor Totoro
• Howl’s Moving Castle
• The Secret World of Arietty
Watching a Miyazaki film reminds me of being a kid again on a summer afternoon, lying on my stomach in the grass, my heels clicking behind me, and my face turned skyward. What am I looking at? Clouds. That one over there? Looks like a rabbit. And that one behind it? A wolf chasing the rabbit. Clouds are the canvas of the imagination.
These films also remind me that that cloud-watching kid is still inside. The clouds are now the blank page, and my job is to translate what I see, to take a reader on an adventure as whimsical and wonderful as a Miyazaki film.
So why not try a Miyazaki film, if you haven’t already done so. Make your next moment a Miyazaki moment. Be a cloud-watching kid again.