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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Animeit’s actually cool

What do you get when you combine a great script, breathtaking animation, and award winning productions? You basically get any film that Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki has ever been made. Miyazaki, born in 1941 in Tokyo, is one of the most respected animators of all time, and has even been compared to Walt Disney for his contributions to the animated film industry. Ever since directing his first film, Castle of Cagliostro, in 1979, Miyazaki has been one of the most recognized animators in Japan. Miyazaki’s work was not well known by the rest of the world until Miramax decided to release Miyazaki’s epic film Princess Mononoke to the United States. Since then, all of Miyazaki’s films have been released in the United States and have enjoyed great successes. His films have been so well received that three of them are currently on imdb.com’s top 250 films of all time (Spirited Away 51/250, Princess Mononoke 114/250, and Howl’s Moving Castle 242/250). There are many distinct features to Miyazaki’s films that make them so recognizable. First, his films are almost all hand-drawn and he doesn’t allow more than 10% of his film to be Computer generated. He also pays great attention to detail, which makes for an unbelievably smooth look to all of his films. His films are also very unique in that they have no stereotypical “good” or “bad” characters; instead, each and every character has their own reasonable motives and can be empathized with. “I really enjoy every single film that Miyazaki has ever made,” senior Yoni Ackerman said. “The themes of his movies are so beautiful and simple and are filled with great imagery.” The themes of Miyazaki’s film have concerned topics like feminism, nature vs. humans, and proving one’s worth. All of his films depict a path by a main character, and that person’s growth as a result of all the struggles that life gives. This is exactly how Miyazaki has changed what people think of both anime and animation films. Most people used to think of animation films as childish and simple, but many agree that Miyazaki’s films open the genre to new perspectives and ideas. “What I like about Miyazaki films is that they can be enjoyed by all walks of life,” senior Bryan Shrader said. “Even the simplest of creatures can enjoy a good film by the great animator Miyazaki.” So whether a person is in the mood for a sad film (like Princess Mononoke), a happy film (like My Neighbor Totoro), or just a fun film (like Porco Rosso), Miyazaki can provide. Miyazaki’s films will please everyone, if everyone will give them a chance.

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