Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hayao Miyazaki: The dying art of hand-drawn animation

Hayao Miyazaki is regarded by many as the world's greatest living animator and an icon of Japanese popular culture.

In 2002, his work burst onto international screens with the ghostly animation "Spirited Away." It smashed box office records in Japan and earned him an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Setting up Studio Ghibli in 1985, the 70-year-old has made 18 animated features that fuse wild fantasy with more serious issues including environmentalism and feminism.

Miyazaki's 2008 film "Ponyo" featured a catastrophic tsunami, but the animator insists that including disasters in his films only makes him a realist able to highlight the fragility of life rather than a prophetic, doom-monger. (more)