Hayao Miyazaki

2 minute read
By Guillermo del Toro

I discovered Hayao Miyazaki’s Toei Animation films as a child—films like The Wonderful World of Puss ’n Boots and series like Heidi and Marco, in which his style and influence became increasingly identifiable. Encountering My Neighbor Totoro as an adult, my mind snapped back to those earlier works, and I recognized how much this man had shaped my childhood.

Miyazaki’s work provokes that rare emotion—the shiver of recognition of a type of beauty that is impossible in the real world and thus exists only in his films. Yet he is also a brutal realist regarding greed, war, and human rage. He knows that we shape and destroy the planet and that humans are the best and the worst of our world.

He is entirely genuine. A one-of-a-kind creator who exists fully in his art. He is the single most influential animation director in the history of the medium, and one of my top 10 favorite storytellers in any audiovisual medium. The Boy and the Heron is a subtle masterpiece that exerts a gravitational pull—and many of us feel that pull intensely.

Del Toro is an Oscar-winning director and producer

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