Friday, September 18, 2009

I just watched Howl's Moving Castle with my dad and sister. It's incredible. So far the Miyazaki movies that I've seen would be Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, which covers almost all of the all time Studio Ghibli classics. What's next? Most probably My Neighbor Totoro.

One common theme I find in Miyazaki movies is the fact that they don't really pander towards specific themes or moralities. Yes, there are elements of "good" and "evil", but it's all implicit and secondary to the intent of just displaying a good, gripping story. Any of the characters that seemed bad are not the one-dimensional kinds you'd find in most Western parables. Even the Wicked Witch of the Wastes and the evil old bath house lady in Spirited Away are actually very layered, complex characters who are capable of doing good, and more often than not, they do redeem themselves of their own volition.

Another thing I absolutely love about Miyazaki movies is the attention to detail. Every painted animation cell is full of vibrant color and a sense of warmth and life, such that when you see a particularly spectacular piece of scenery, you want to be there and breathe in the air. I'm also amazed by how much effort is placed into showing the expressions and facial tics of each individual character and animal. Nobody does quirk and emotion better than Miyazaki, and you'd be hard pressed not to chuckle when an asthmatic dog wheezes its way into the heart of a simple cleaning lady in Moving Castle.

Anyway, I have to give props to Jasmine for introducing me to the magic of Hayao Miyazaki. Thanks Jasmine. Thasmine.


Her Name is Geek said...


Ezanee said...

Nothing against the original voice cast, but Christian Bale doing the voice of Howl was friggin' awesome. As cool as when David Boreanaz did the voice of Squall in Kingdom Hearts.