Have you ever wondered about the man behind the enchanting world of Studio Ghibli? Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary Japanese filmmaker, has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with his imaginative storytelling and breathtaking animation. In this article, we will delve into five intriguing facts about Miyazaki that you may not have known. Prepare to be fascinated by the man behind the masterpieces!

He is Truly Passionate About Airplanes

Miyazaki's love for airplanes

It is no secret that Hayao Miyazaki is deeply enamored with airplanes. Since his early years, he has nurtured a burning passion for aviation. The fascination began during his childhood, growing up amidst the fighter planes of World War II in Japan. Moreover, his father’s factory, the Miyazaki Aviation Company, provided him with constant exposure to these magnificent machines. Thus, airplanes became an integral part of Miyazaki’s life from an early age.

This love for airplanes continues to thrive in his adulthood and has become an indispensable element in his animated works. If you have seen any of Miyazaki’s films, you must have noticed the prevalence of flying objects, such as the castle floating in the sky in “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” or the iconic flying scenes in “The Wind Rises.” The sky and airplanes truly hold a special place in Miyazaki’s heart and creative endeavors.

Female Leads Dominate His Films

Female lead characters in Miyazaki's films

One remarkable aspect of Miyazaki’s films is the prominent presence of strong female characters. This trend can be traced back to his early career as a transition artist at Toei Animation. His dedication and contributions eventually led him to become the head of animation at the studio.

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In Miyazaki’s works, women take the center stage as main characters and protagonists. These spirited heroines embody strength, courage, and independence, breaking free from traditional gender roles. Miyazaki believes that women can be powerful heroes, capable of achieving their ideals and goals without relying on others to rescue them. This empowering portrayal of women has resonated with audiences, particularly women, creating a deep connection with the characters and the stories Miyazaki weaves.

He Rejects Pre-Constructed Scripts

Miyazaki's spontaneous storytelling

Unlike many filmmakers, Hayao Miyazaki rarely follows pre-constructed scripts for his movies. Instead, he embraces a spontaneous approach to storytelling. Miyazaki considers the process of drawing storyboards as a vital step in visualizing the development of his films. However, he does not begin with a complete script or even know how the story will end.

Miyazaki shared in an interview that he does not have the luxury of preparing scripts due to time constraints. Instead, he allows the story to evolve organically as he draws the storyboards. The film itself shapes its own course, unfurling in unexpected ways. This unconventional method has contributed to the depth and humanity of his characters, even without having a fully written script.

He Explores CGI in Some of His Works

Miyazaki's foray into CGI

Hayao Miyazaki is renowned for his commitment to hand-drawn animation. Unlike many studios that extensively employ CGI technology, Studio Ghibli has largely relied on traditional animation techniques. Approximately 90% of the scenes in Miyazaki’s films are entirely hand-drawn, with CGI used sparingly to enhance specific details.

Despite his affinity for hand-drawn animation, Miyazaki acknowledges the potential of CGI to match or surpass human abilities. However, he confessed that he is too old to fully explore this technology. Nevertheless, he decided to give CGI a try and released a fully CGI animated short called “Boro the Caterpillar” in 2016. Although it was only shown at the Studio Ghibli museum, it marked Miyazaki’s willingness to embrace new advancements in animation.

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He Has Retired Multiple Times

Miyazaki's retirement and comeback

Throughout his illustrious career, Hayao Miyazaki has officially retired on two separate occasions, only to return to the world of filmmaking. The first retirement came in 1997 after completing “Princess Mononoke.” However, after a hiatus of nearly four years, Miyazaki returned to Studio Ghibli with three new projects. One of them was “Spirited Away,” which became one of Ghibli’s most successful films.

In 2013, Miyazaki once again announced his retirement, only to change his mind and continue creating films. As of now, he is working on his highly anticipated film, “How Do You Live?” and another project called “Eyes.” Miyazaki’s love for storytelling and his inexhaustible creativity have drawn him back to the world of animation time and time again.

These five fascinating facts shed light on the captivating genius of Hayao Miyazaki. His unwavering passion, powerful storytelling, and willingness to push boundaries have made him one of the most celebrated filmmakers of our time. So, the next time you embark on a Miyazaki adventure, remember the extraordinary mind behind the magic.

To learn more about Hayao Miyazaki and his works, visit Caravansarai, your gateway to a world of enchantment.