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Miyazaki Talks to the Guardian

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the gods-of-anime dept.

Anime 234

BrainGeyser writes to tell us The Guardian is running an interesting summary of an interview with Hayao Miyazaki, proclaimed 'God' of anime. In the interview Miyazaki discusses a wide range of issues from his distribution deal with Disney to the future of anime. From the article: 'There is a rumor that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: "No cuts."' While it was actually Miyazaki's producer, Miyazaki did 'go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and [..] was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts. He [Miyazaki] smiles. "I defeated him."'

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234 comments

No way (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586234)

You can't be God of anime. Doesn't make sense.

Re:No way (1)

Mahou (873114) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586358)

who proclaimed him anyway? i don't remember voting for him.

Re:No way (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586368)

Some hand-drawn watery tart, I guess.

Re:No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586396)

who proclaimed him anyway? i don't remember voting for him.

I don't remember voting for the Pope either, but that doesn't make him any less The Pope.

Re:No way (1)

Mahou (873114) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586412)

yes it does

Re:No way (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586525)

It's a meritocracy, your vote doesn't count.

Re:No way (0, Flamebait)

mike nwdw. (877398) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586564)

God does not exists. If he were to exist (Bible God or Miyazaki God), then there is no way that the Anime industry would exist. What kind of God will let an industry that thrives on tentacle-rape/pædophilia/scat/mountaindewcheetoner dcrust/bad-animation-at-4-FPS to continue to exist! I mean, I know American animation a huge pile of shit that even a someone falling face-flat on dog turd is more entertaining to watch than the Simpsons, but c'mon people!

Heh (-1, Offtopic)

daniil (775990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586242)

Seeing the topic icon, I thought this story had something to do with girls. But oh, how grossly I was mistaken :7

Re:Heh (0, Offtopic)

ilselu1 (877032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586290)

I thought of Halo2's default "You were killed by the Guardian" kill phrase.

Here we go... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586253)

Oh God, here we go, all the Slashdroids have unzipped and whipped it out, that hands are goin' up and down and the lotion is everywhere!

Tell me about it. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586776)

I just don't understand the total fascination with anime around here. I don't think it's dumb or undeserving; I just don't think it's worthy of the unwavering high praise it gets. And another thing, is there really a high correlation between geeks/nerds and anime? In my experience the answer is yes, even though I personally hate it. I don't understand why this is.

Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1, Troll)

duckpoopy (585203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586266)

Disney. John Lasseter could learn a few things about creativity from this man.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586295)

Disney. John Lasseter could learn a few things about creativity from this man.

Disney isn't worthy to learn anything from anyone. They have been a animation sweatshop from day one and old walt was a scrooge.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586315)

Dude, sometimes you need to read the subject, too. I think the grandparent agrees with you that Disney ain't all that.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (2, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586392)

Right you are. I was a Disney addict when I was a kid, but as soon as I grew up I realized that Walt and all his heirs are evil. What put me over the edge was seeing Fantasia and realizing that he'd neutered all the satyrs!

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586425)

Fantasia would have been better if the Satyrs had genitalia?

That seems like a kind of nit-picky point.

Plenty of points to pick at... you chose that a childrens movie produced in the 60's or 70's didn't have full-frontal nudity.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586488)

Fantasia wasn't meant to be a kiddie movie -- though, like all Disney movies, that's what it ended up being. It was Disney's attempt to show that he had culture: telling classic storie with classical music performed by a big-name symphony orchestra.

Now of course if you dramatize the Greek Myths, there are details [pantheon.org] a modern audience isn't going to accept. Naturally, you can't show these details. But you have to be true to the spirit of the story you're trying to tell. If there are parts of the story [pantheon.org] you can't tell honestly, you shouldn't tell them at all.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586536)

Fantasia would have been better if the Satyrs had genitalia?

That seems like a kind of nit-picky point.

Plenty of points to pick at... you chose that a childrens movie produced in the 60's or 70's didn't have full-frontal nudity.


HEres a better point. Disney has made animation onyl for kids. Disney has presented a neutered view of fairy tales and the world aroudn us. Disney is a souless corporation seeking to pay artists as little as possible for their talents as well as a IP tyrant. They claim IP to works that are Public domain. Things liek cinderella, sleepign beuaty ect.. I wouldn't be suprised that they would try and stifle any one else from staging an animated "huntch back of notre dame".

They started as an animation sweatshop. Hiring immigrant worked to do their animation, and they did so in some pretty poor conditions.

I know your not disagreeign with me, but I thought perhaps those are more valid arguements to not like disney.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

bezgin (785861) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586721)

+ my two cents People working in Disneylands (meaning costumed ones) are underpaid and most of them suffer from bad hygene conditions of the costumes. In Disneyland Paris there was a Goofie cursing people around with a very audible voice. Poor guy. I would not like to wear a suit like that in a sunny day.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (0, Flamebait)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586497)

Right you are. I was a Disney addict when I was a kid, but as soon as I grew up I realized that Walt and all his heirs are evil. What put me over the edge was seeing Fantasia and realizing that he'd neutered all the satyrs!

You probably wonder why mainstream media doesn't seem to cater to your tastes. Here's a little clue, only lunatics want their children's movies with visible genitalia. Please go get yourself some counseling--preferrably somewhere far away from my children.

Thank you.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586518)

You probably wonder why mainstream media doesn't seem to cater to your tastes. Here's a little clue, only lunatics want their children's movies with visible genitalia. Please go get yourself some counseling--preferrably somewhere far away from my children.

Only americans don't want things to have genetals. The asians and europeans are fine with genetals. Many kid oreinted shows show male genetalia in those cultures because there isn't the same conservative taboo against sex. IT's a part of life get oevr it. You little boy/girl is away they have genetals.

-1 Redundant (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586630)

You really should read the other replies [slashdot.org] to a post before replying yourself.

Re:-1 Redundant (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586712)

Yeah, his comment was way funnier than mine too. I am pretty sure that I started my post before his went up, but I was working on something else and it took me a long time to post.

Re:-1 Redundant (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586757)

Oh well, it happens.

Anyway, I was never saying that kiddie movies should have full frontal nudity! But if Walt couldn't show satyrs without turning them into eunuchs, he shouldn't show them at all. In Fantasia, he pretending to educate his audience (including adults, which were actually the main audience for cartoons in the 30s) about clasical culture. Of course there are parts he has to skip over. But when he shows castrated satyrs, he's not skipping over the racy bits, he sugar-coating them into nothingness.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586671)

Fantasia isn't a childrens movie! Heck, I've yet to meet a kid that doesn't find it boring. Unfortunatly, just because it was animated people assume it is aimed at kids.

What could Lasseter learn from him? (4, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586317)

John Lasseter could learn a few things about creativity from this man.

I think Miyazaki has creativity in spades, but I'm curious why you're bashing on Lasseter. I've been impressed by his creativity ever since the early days of Pixar, and I've been even more impressed by his ability to bring interesting and nuanced stories to the big screen. Getting anything even remotely intelligent through the Hollywood system is extremely difficult.

So is your criticism of Lasseter based on the plot of his stories, or the animation of Pixar films, or something else? Maybe I'm missing something. Miyazaki is obviously fantastic, but I don't think that means there can't be any other creative people in mainstream animation.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (5, Interesting)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586337)

John Lasseter could learn a few things about creativity from this man.

What makes you think he doesn't? Check this article [animationmagazine.net] :

Lasseter noted: "Miyazaki is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time and he has been a tremendous inspiration to generations of animators. At Pixar, when we have a problem and we can't seem to solve it, we often look at one of his films in our screening room. Toy Story owes a huge debt of gratitude to the films of Mr. Miyazaki.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586621)

I remember seeing Lasseter at the SF film festival giving open praise to Miyazaki and likening himself to a samurai trying to protect Ghibli properties from Disney.

Any criticism of Lasseter in this sense is totally wrong headed imo.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586360)

Everybody who makes movies -- or does anything creative -- could learn a few things from this man.

It's been a couple years since I saw Spirited Away, and I still chuckle if anything reminds me of a scene from it. Can't say the same for any Pixar movie. They only make me thing of trite cuteness and over-the-top voice actors hired for their name, not their talent.

The "no cuts" story is interesting. Had no idea Miyazaki was such a tough S.O.B. But I guess that goes with being a great filmmaker.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (3, Informative)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586393)

Had no idea Miyazaki was such a tough S.O.B.

You should definitely read his description [nausicaa.net] in the words of Mamoru Oshii of the "Ghost In The Shell" fame:

My first impression was that he was a really light hearted person. But when the conversation got heated, he was really merciless, and I was told many harsh things. -laughs- So it ended with the impression like "what a SOB!"

Miyazaki and Oshii: two of a kind. (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586515)

Heh, that's the very thing some people say about Oshii-sensei. Miyazaki-sensei and Oshii-sensei are cut from the same cloth. They are both tough, eccentric personalities who each have singular artistic visions -- both quite divergent from each other -- and pursue them with determination.

I didn't get a chance to see Howl yet, but Sen to Chihhiro aka Spirited Away and Innocence: Ghost In The Shell II are both incredible artistic statements.

Probably anyone here posting on this thread has seen Spirited Away, but rent or buy Innocence because it's freakin' incredible. It didn't get enough attention in the theatres, where people actually should have seen it, but DVD will have to do at this point. Try to see it on a big screen...there are some set pieces that will absolutely blow your mind.

Re:Miyazaki and Oshii: two of a kind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586750)

Sen to Chihhiro aka Spirited Away

If you want to impress people by pretentiously quoting titles in Japanese, it would be advisable to spell it correctly. That's "Chihiro". Two h's, not three. And it's a bit odd that you miss out the no kamikakushi part from which the English title is actually derived.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (4, Informative)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586431)

The "no cuts" story is interesting. Had no idea Miyazaki was such a tough S.O.B. But I guess that goes with being a great filmmaker.

It stems from a 1980's North American release of Nausicaa that had been licensed by some fly-by-night American company. Re-titled "Warriors of the Wind", it was severely cut (running less than 66% of the original's time), utterly incomprehensible, and a total disaster. Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli were so pissed off that they asked fans to forget the existence of the film and adopted a strict "no edits" clause for any future foreign licensing deals.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586514)

Yeah, that would piss me off too. But even if that had never happened. Miyasaki was wise to not letter Disney mess with his stories.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586555)

Disney still modifies the films, they make the characters yappier.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586617)

No shit! That's why I always watch the DVDs in Japanese with subtitles.

That was one thing that suprised me about the Miyazaki interview -- him professing that the English soundtracks were perfectly fine. Perhaps he doesn't speak enough English to realize how much crap Disney adds.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

delirium_9 (26055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586746)

They are just as yappy in Japanese. Sad fact.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586771)

Well, I don't speak Japanese. But I notice a lot of places in the Disney version where they've added dialogue that obviously wasn't in the original. And painfully cute dialog too.

Warriors of the Wind (1)

r3jjs (189626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586563)

Gads... I wish I /could/ forget that horrible excuse for a film. Though I saw WotW first, I realized the movie had been badly botched and made no sense what-so-ever. Watching a fan-dubbed version of the origional made everything clear and came as a relief.

It is amazing how I can go from disliking someone (Miyazaki) and transferring that dislike to the correct person (Charles Masek -- spelling guessed at).

 

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586436)

John Lasseter could learn a few things about creativity from this man.

Re the vice-versa, it's interesting to speculate if and when Miyazaki will do something in CGI. (If I'm not mistaken, Howl's Moving Castle used a few automated techniques that contrasted visibly with his usual low-frame-rate hand drawings.)

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (3, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586610)

Re the vice-versa, it's interesting to speculate if and when Miyazaki will do something in CGI.

Miyazaki has been using CGI since at least Mononoke Hime, if not before. He just doesn't go overboard with it, and he uses it in a way such that it's not noticeable unless you're specifically looking for it.

Again, something I think Hollywood could learn from. Even in live-action films, CGI effects have taken on a life of their own. It used to be that special effects were used to make something look real that otherwise couldn't be done. Nowadays, CGI effects are used for the sake of the effect - there's not even any intent to make something look real, the intent is instead to draw attention to the effect.

In animation, the idea has always been to make something beautiful but to use the animation to tell a story. The visuals are subservient; the better they look, the better for the film, but the whole reason the visuals exist is to help tell a story. Once the visuals start distracting from that story, and people start paying attention more to the look of a film than the story it's telling, then the film is a failure. Miyazaki is one of the few remaining animation directors that seem to understand that animation is no different than live action in this regard - that film, including animation, is a medium for telling stories. It is not a CGI showcase. (Hollywood seems to have forgotten this fact in live-action films lately too.)

This is the way I feel about at least some of Pixar's films. I saw Toy Story and I just didn't get it. The comedy was way over-broad in that bad TV sitcom sort of way, and it seemed to me that the only real unique thing about the film was its all-CGI visuals. Most of the reviews I saw at the time spent a lot of time talking about the visuals and very little talking about the story, except for the comedy, which I just didn't even think was very funny.

(There are Pixar films I think are pretty good - I liked Finding Nemo, for example - but in general they just spend way too much time worrying about the technical aspects of their films and not nearly enough on telling a good story.)

But there have been CGI scenes in at least the last several of Miyazaki's films, when he's wanted to do something that couldn't be done by traditional hand-drawn techniques. He just doesn't believe in doing things for the sake of doing it, he believes in doing what needs to be done to tell the story he wants to tell. Miyazaki's films are great because he first of treats them as films and not simply as "anime" (or "animation", which is all that word means in Japan), and second of all because he understands what filmmaking is really all about.

Re:Miyazaki makes Pixar look like (1)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586716)

...there have been CGI scenes in at least the last several of Miyazaki's films, [but only] when he's wanted to do something that couldn't be done by traditional hand-drawn techniques.

One could even theorize that a deliberate rejection of "perfection" is further evidenced in the continued jerkiness of his 6-frames/second(?) animation... even though he could now probably afford denser 'tweening'. (For a pronounced usage of roughness for effect, see/remember the Xmas short The Snowman ...and the numerous tv commercials that copied it.)

The REAL question is... (5, Funny)

Joe Random (777564) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586279)

was it a Hattori Hanzo sword?

Re:The REAL question is... (0, Troll)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586318)

Jeez, don't even mention an artists like Miyazaki and a hack like Tarentino in the same breath!

Re:The REAL question is... (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586397)

After 'Spirited Away', I don't think that Miyazaki is really above comparison to anyone else, especially someone with a much better grasp of quality dialogue and plot.

Re:The REAL question is... (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586506)

The "plot" in a Tarentino movie is a lot of people trying to kill each other. The "dialogue" is these people making lame witicisms between fight scenes. Compare away!

Re:The REAL question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586460)

Hey, Myazaki's first movie was "Castle of Calgastrio", maybe it was Goemon's Zantetsuken.

Re:The REAL question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586492)

I thought he pawned it.

Renting (2, Interesting)

zymano (581466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586300)

Which one of his movies should you rent ?

Re:Renting (3, Informative)

NoTheory (580275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586325)

Spirited Away. It's probably the friendliest for american audiences. (let the flaming begin!) My Neighbor Totoro is a classic fantastic for kids (and others of course!). The Princess Mononoke is better for kids who are a little older.

Re:Renting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586477)

Spirited Away. It's probably the friendliest for american audiences.... The Princess Mononoke is better for kids who are a little older.

I'm not convinced that Spirited Away would really appeal to younger kids (under-7), personally. It's an outstanding animation; looks great, and has depth, but younger kids might have trouble understanding fully what's going on. Not to mention that the youngest might find some of it quite frightening (it got a 'PG' (Parental Guidance) rating in the UK, rather than the 'U' (Universal, suitable for all) that one might expect).

Re:Renting (2, Insightful)

NoTheory (580275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586351)

I neglected to mention Laputa (aka "Castle in the Sky"), that one is also up there with Spirited Away imo.

you know you can find these all [imdb.com] via IMDB.

Re:Renting (2, Informative)

bidule (173941) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586354)

Mononoke first. Porco Rosso second. Then anything is good.

Spirited Away requires some understanding of bath houses and kami to fully enjoy. Totoro also happens in Japan, but the story is more universal.

Kiki is his most disneyesque work, good for introducing others.

Nausicaa, Laputa, I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

Re:Renting (4, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586692)

Spirited Away requires some understanding of bath houses and kami to fully enjoy.

Yeah, I was kind of surprised that someone else described that as the most western-friendly. To me, it's the one film that requires the most understanding of Japanese culture in general (not just bath houses and kami) to enjoy. You can still enjoy it without that understanding, but you won't really fully "get" it.

All of Miyazaki's films have an underlying theme or moral. I have yet to find an American who really understood what Spirited Away was saying on the first viewing... and I must admit the only reason I probably did was that I watched it first in Japan surrounded by Japanese speakers. (So I both had it explained to me - I didn't understand all the dialogue - and I got to hear the impressions of a lot of other people in the theater afterwards.) Most people in the west seem to describe it as a run-of-the-mill "coming of age" fantasy, which it most certainly is not.

So I wouldn't start with that one. I think it's actually kind of an advanced Miyazaki film - there's a lot of subtext, a lot of cultural specificity, and while the underlying theme is relatively simple (it's a film about gluttony and greed), it seems like the way it's presented is not all that easy for westerners to grasp.

Same is actually true of Nausicaa, which has a lot of Cold War stuff mixed in and that kind of gets lost in translation, and maybe even forgotten now that the cold war is over...

I do agree that Mononoke is a good place to start. It's pretty simple, but it doesn't seem simple as you're watching it. It's beautifully animated, it's still relevant, and the plot itself is pretty imaginative, though easy to follow. It's also not really culturally-specific - I mean there are a few things (like the little guys running around the forest, I can't even remember what they're called), but nothing that gets in the way of following the story or understanding the theme. And you can imagine a similar sort of plot set in the west at that time.

Kiki and Porco Rosso are good too, although they're a bit lighter and may give newcomers a bit of a skewed idea of what Miyazaki's really all about. Laputa I just didn't think held up all that well the last time I saw it; the animation is not his best, and the story doesn't flow as well as some of his later films.

Totoro might be the one of his films (well, other than Howl's Moving Castle) that I haven't seen, so I can't comment on it.

Re:Renting (3, Insightful)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586361)

All of them. I haven't seen one that I didn't like yet. Though I haven't seen "Kiki's delivery service" yet which I heard wasn't as good. I'm sure it is though.

One great about his movies is that there is almost never the stereotypical bad guy that is just evil for no reason. Everyone is doing what they think the right thing is. Much closer to real life.

They are mostly for children though. If you'd rather get something more adult, Princess Mononoke is probably the one to get.

Re:Renting (2, Insightful)

tdelaney (458893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586407)

Everyone's tastes differ. IMO Kiki is Miyazaki's best work. One of my co-workers thinks that Laputa is. Another votes for Totoro (which I put as #2, then Spirited Away). I don't rate Nausicaa as highly as the others, but that may be because the Nausicaa manga is my favourite, and the movie only covers a short portion of the manga (with significant changes).

But it's so hard to choose between them. All of the Miyazaki movies have IMO been very good to superb. I can't say the same for all Studio Ghibli work (The Cat Returns left me pretty cold) but Miyazaki's work - watch them all.

And whilst most of them are written with children in mind (this from the mouth of Miyazaki himself - not my opinion), all of them are immensely enjoyable by people of any age. The only one I probably wouldn't show to a child under 10 is Mononoke.

Kiki's Delivery Service (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586421)

Though I haven't seen "Kiki's delivery service" yet which I heard wasn't as good. I'm sure it is though.

Kiki's Delivery Service is a nicely-made cartoon that, had I seen it first as a 9-year old girl, I'd probably love for the rest of my life.

However, I have to say, it doesn't have the same depth as Spirited Away (which I loved). In particular, some aspects of the plot will simply strike you as silly if you watch it for the first time as an adult (no spoilers, but I found myself thinking "Why have they sent a 13-year old (or whatever) girl off to find some job without having any plans as to what she's doing or where she's going? Isn't her mother more than a *little* concerned when she flies off and evidently can't control her broomstick?")

And so on throughout the film. It didn't grab me at all, but then I'm the better part of 20 years older than the target audience... so, not a bad animation, just one that's more suitable for kids than adults. Actually, I'm sure younger kids (6 or under) would enjoy it more than Spirited Away (or Mononoke for that matter).

Re:Renting (2, Informative)

boa13 (548222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586768)

Though I haven't seen "Kiki's delivery service" yet which I heard wasn't as good. I'm sure it is though.

Kiki's excellent, too, but almost purely a coming of age movie. Early-teen stuff, no war, no epic, no magic... except for the magic of a beautiful, idealistic European town, the magic of nice people, the magic of life, the magic of music and excellent storytelling. Oh, and some broom flights, too.

Re:Renting (2, Insightful)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586424)

I'd strongly recommend Spirited Away. While Princess Monoke was very good, Spirited Away was...well, simply marvelous!

Actually, I'd rent them both...

Re:Renting (1)

slashdotnickname (882178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586681)

While others will suggest the more popular ones, all great of course, I'd recomend "My Neighbors The Yamadas" as well. It might not have a polished look like the rest do, but it's a wonderful look into the dynamics of a modern Japanese family... with plenty of funny and tender moments too.

Re:Renting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586764)

oishii...

Re:Renting (1)

darklordyoda (899383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586766)

I'd have to recommend "Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa", which translates to "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind", and not "Warrior of the Wind", which is the American version, butchered by cuts.

I'd rate it as one of the best Miyazaki films, up there with Mononoke Hime and Totoro, and I'd rate the cut version as one of the worst, down there with Laputa (personal opinion).

My suggestions: (1)

Szplug (8771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586813)

Mononoke is his most adult and maybe the most beautiful, but it left my virgin stomach in a knot from the lack of Hollywood tidiness of plot. It's also quite different from his other works.

Spirited Away is more representative of his other stuff, and probably the best of the rest of it. Interesting & engaging; also will twist a non-Japanese stomach.

The two above are the most recent (barring "Howl's") and IMO not second to any of the rest, so I'd say start with the two above. Now, I like his movies for the adventure & imagination, so this is my order of preference of the rest:

Laputa, & Nausicaa (I prefer Laputa, but I wouldn't miss Nausicaa either. It's based on a long series, I wish they'd managed to put more of it in the movie).

My Neighbor Totoro for kids but plenty imaginative and dang cute (secretly one of my favs).

Kiki's Delivery Service - good for 10-12 yr old girls but not much for anyone else (IMO; but then, I like imaginative stuff like I said).

Porco Rosso - Useless! Very early work; you can see the Miyazaki elements (cute little girls, strong young women & flying pirates) but other than that it's the bottom of the barrel (again IMO). For Miyazaki completists.

Note I haven't seen Howl's Moving Castle or Lupin III.

No cut (4, Informative)

bidule (173941) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586303)

Of course, the "no cut" was because of that "marvelous" Warrior of the Wind. Or how to turn Nausicaa into an hollywoodian action-packed movie.

OT (-1, Flamebait)

sigzero (914876) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586708)

If Katrina WAS an act of God, it certainly would have been retribution against New Orleans, because it was a very wicked city. To compare the two acts is to show the world your lack of IQ.

Eiichiro Oda... (1)

JPyun (911266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586335)

...probably should have done the same thing when 4Kids took up One Piece. Or seppuku. Either one.

Fatalism (1, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586369)

His is a very serene and contented brand of fatalism. He talks about New Orleans, and Hurricane Katrina and insists that the same thing will happen in Tokyo. There are a lot of water-gates in the city, and the river runs past his home. He smiles and taps ash from his cigarette. There are too many people in the world, he says, and too many wrong turns along the way. At the age of 64, he gives the impression that the planet is doomed but he'll soon be leaving it, and not a minute too soon.

"Personally I am very pessimistic," Miyazaki says. "But when, for instance, one of my staff has a baby you can't help but bless them for a good future. Because I can't tell that child, 'Oh, you shouldn't have come into this life.' And yet I know the world is heading in a bad direction. So with those conflicting thoughts in mind, I think about what kind of films I should be making."
What is the paticular wackiness of Japanese animators in respect to Tokyo? I know that a couple atom bombs will give anybody a complex, but this is just silly. And once I compare the behavior of post-Katrina Black Americans to post-Kobe Japanese, I really don't think that the Japanese have nearly as much to worry about in the "making natural disasters worse" category.

Re:Fatalism (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586472)

I know that a couple atom bombs will give anybody a complex, but this is just silly.

I do believe the roots of this fatalism are way deeper than such recent history (and besides, what else is history anyway than a passing wind?). If anything, then a couple of atom bombs will only make a true fatalist shrug and say "told you so."

Re:Fatalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586582)

Perhaps it's the fact that Tokyo is one of the world's most earthquake-prone cities?

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/T316888.h tm [alertnet.org]

Re:Fatalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586663)

except for maybe godzilla.

Re:Fatalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586745)

I know that a couple atom bombs will give anybody a complex, but this is just silly.

What is it with americans that they believe that the lives of japanese turn around atom bombs?

There are ~30 million people in Tokyo. And a Tokyo resident has owned the right to believe that there are too many people in this world.

Now shut up you self centered american and stop wanking your precious atom bombs.

Weinstien. Cuts? (2, Insightful)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586373)

Does anyone find it ironic that the producer (or executive producer) of Pulp Fiction, Bad Santa, Kill Bill, Sin City, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Clerks, wanted to CUT something from a film? I coudn't have been that hard of a sell.

Re:Weinstien. Cuts? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586619)

He insisted on cutting twenty minutes out of hero because he felt that nearly two hours was too long for a foreign film. http://www.monkeypeaches.com/Hero.html [monkeypeaches.com]

Re:Weinstien. Cuts? (2, Informative)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586639)

the weinstein's are notorious for making cuts. they do NOT like long movies, and have cut huge chunks out of imported cinematic feasts such as "Cinema Paradiso" and "life is beautiful." Princess Mononoke, the movie that was localized by Miramax's staff, is considered to be long for an animated movie. it was also more violent than anything that disney has ever produced.

Please God let me ignore the 'Anime' section (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586379)

Please, O Masters of Slashdot, allow me to select 'None' for stories in the Anime section. Just because a subset of geek culture is composed of a group of obese, Cheeto-eating nerds fapping away to tentacle porn, doesn't mean all of us are into your scene.
How about a checkbox to ignore Anime stories?

Re:Please God let me ignore the 'Anime' section (2, Funny)

DoktorTomoe (643004) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586415)

Just after I ran out of moderator points ... I am a nerd, enjoying the finer - japanese - arts of animation, you insensitive clod.

Re:Please God let me ignore the 'Anime' section (1)

nytmare (572906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586495)

How about a checkbox to ignore Anime stories?

There used to be one a while back, but the preferences got reshuffled. I can't for the life of me find a current way to filter this highly niched topic off the main page. Anyone?

Honesly, I got a boner when I misread this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586516)

I thought I read "obese, Cheeto-eating nerds raping in tentacle porn" and it gave me an erection.

Am I fucked?

Re:Please God let me ignore the 'Anime' section (1)

katarac (565789) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586710)

You don't need God or the Masters of Slashdot to ignore an article. You're just not trying very hard.

First step: If you see a girl with green hair, ignore (using your brain, and eyes!) the text to the left of it.

Miyazaki for Disney CEO! (2, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586398)

Every time I see a Miyazaki movie I'm reminded of what Disney used to be.

Re:Miyazaki for Disney CEO! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586635)

> I'm reminded of what Disney used to be.

No, Disney used to be about good family movies, not about old recycled (somewhat) animated pornography. That's an insane statement. How can you compare family movies to porn?

Something Disney did right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586432)

Having seen the usual run of the mill English translation/voice-over stuff from the far east (I collect martial arts movies), I am very impressed at how well Disney renders these videos into English. You wouldn't know the original animation was done in Japanese.

No cuts? (3, Interesting)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586444)

I must say that I hope something was cut in the American release of Howl's Moving Castle.

It just played on campus last Wednesday. The film quality was pretty bad and the sound was absolutely horrible (I blame the distributer). The drawing had to be the best I think I've ever seen in any anime or Disney flick.

There was one major plot hole that pretty much the whole audience fell through though. At a point late in the movie, after they've alluded to one character having had a curse put on him, the main girl kisses this character and with a *pop* he turns into a real person and exclaims: "I'm the prince from the kingdom next door!"

The audience roared with laughter at that. There was absolutely no mention in the beginning of the movie about this missing prince (that we could hear, maybe it was the shitty sound) and at the very end we realized that he was the whole reason for the war that was the major plot element of the story.

I really hope there was something cut from the Miyazaki version. Or at least that there was something said that we collectively managed to miss.

Re:No cuts? (1)

Baloo Ursidae (29355) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586526)

The drawing had to be the best I think I've ever seen in any anime or Disney flick.

To be fair, the last movie Disney Animation made before it closed forever was Brother Bear.

Re:No cuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586648)

Actually no, it was Home on the Range...with the cows.

Re:No cuts? (1)

Rauser (631244) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586530)

Thanks for the spoilers

Re:No cuts? (4, Informative)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586561)

They did mention he was missing and that this was the trigger for the war.

Re:No cuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586584)

I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview when Miyazaki visited our UK studios last November.

The hole you mention regarding the war is covered early on in the film's dialogue, although it's very easy to miss as there's no indication it's a major part of the plot. I suppose there's a chance it may have been cut, but I can't really think of a reason - it was literally one sentence.

That aside, I did manage to have a few words with him through his interpreter and what struck me was his intense passion for his art. His influences and cultural references are a universe apart from the average Hollywood CGI blockbuster and make a refreshing change. I wish there were more film makers like him, I really do...

Re:No cuts? (1)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586596)

Unfortunately to my best knowledge there were no cuts.

Compared to other Miyazaki movies (which I consider to be near the top of the world's cultural heritage) I was thoroughly disappointed by the plot and pacing. I really hope Miyazaki will be able to match the genius he imparted on Mononoke and Spirited Away, because Howl falls far short of a grand finale.

Re:No cuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586614)

that's very odd, because i saw the same film a few months ago, and the prince was most certainly mentioned. several times, in fact, within the first twenty minutes of the movie.

however, the end of the movie most certainly had a "deus ex machina" feel to it.

Re:No cuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586625)

Yes, it does mention it. modded down for spoilers.

I hate to be contrarian, but.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586466)

I'm seriously starting to think that this man is only capable of making the same movie over and over again.

On the one hand, I think that it's marvelous that he was able to get Disney to release his movies in the US without tampering with them. They're touching stories that are a breath of fresh air compared to the stagnant state of American animation. The characters are believable, and I'm so happy to see stories that refuse to paint all characters in black & white. Unlike mainstream American movies, monsters aren't automatically evil, the hero isn't automatically flawless. The big giant ugly monster with bad breath is understandable (and in some cases huggable). Nobody wakes up and decides to be evil, characters act with self-justified self-interest and are more three-dimensional than most live-action movies.

BUT - I'm kind of tired of his re-use of the same story arcs and even the same / similar characters (nanny / granny / soot mites / parents), story backgrounds (a family moving in to a new house), and morals (be nice to the environment - yes, I get it already, quit preaching). I hope that he can find some original context for his next works, rather than slightly cloning his previous ones.

As it is, I already have absolutely no interest in seeing "Howl's Moving Castle" since from the trailer it looked like all the characters were taken from previous movies and most of the major storyline elements were similar (if not identical) to parts of Spirited. However, it could just be that I'm getting too old to enjoy the material since the movies are intended for children.

FYI, I've seen these movies of his, rated in descending order (best first): Mononoke, Naussica, Totorro, Spirited, Laputa. (Possibly all mis-spelled).

I disagree (3, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586507)

Mononoke's story line does not resemble Spirited Away does not resemble Porco Rosso does not resemble Castle in the Sky does not resemble Totoro does not resemble Kiki's Delivery Service.

The one thing that many Miyazaki cartoons have in common, though, is that kids can watch them. This is especially true for Kiki's Delivery Service, Totoro, Spirited Away, and Castle in the Sky Laputa.

This is why I say Miyazaki reminds me of the old Disney in that he's creating stories that people will remember.

Re:I disagree (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586568)

This is why I say Miyazaki reminds me of the old Disney in that he's creating stories that people will remember.

Old disney films was alright, Old walt disney was not. He was a pretty miserly old man who prolly would sell your kids for a buck.

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586743)

Wow, even for slashdot that was unintelligible.

Re:I disagree (1)

Trespass (225077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586642)

Mononoke is Nausicaa with wolves instead of bugs.

Tigers Covered in Mud was pretty cool, though.

Re:I disagree (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586769)

And they have hot cute young girls that the paedophile in all of us can ogle. :)

Re:I hate to be contrarian, but.. (1)

snorb (109422) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586519)

It's definitely mentioned near the beginning of the movie that the war is due to a prince being missing, but it's in the background dialogue. So if the sound quality was bad at your showing, it'd be easy to miss.

God of Anime??? (0, Troll)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586696)

Because he makes material with enough mainstream appeal, or is lucky enough to have his material promoted by the largest marketing machine on the planet, he puts more asses in the theatre seat, that makes him "God?"

This is like saying the Backstreet Boys are better than Beethoven because they sell more CDs!

Re:God of Anime??? (2, Funny)

rhakka (224319) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586754)

What, not enough tentacle rape for you?
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