Tau I. Robinson-Farrar
Survey of Animation and Visual Effects
December 09, 2012
Hayao Miyazaki had an unusual up-bring that shaped him into the man at we are all fascinated with and respect. On January 5th 1941, in Tokyo, Japan, Katsuji and Dona Miyazaki had a baby boy named Hayao Miyazaki. He is the second of their four sons. Throughout his childhood, Hayao went to several schools. One particular reason was because of World War II; In high school, his life began to change when he went to watch the first colored animated film in Japanese history—Hakujaden. Hayao absolutely fell in love with the films heroine and knew at that moment that he wanted to make films and be an animators. However, it was difficult for Hayao at first to be an animator. He was having a hard time drawing people. He was more fascinated in drawing planes and fighter jets from magazines and books. Things didn’t get better for him artistically until he graduated Toyotama High School.
Beside Hayao Miyazaki’s upbringing, the Japanese Director started his career working at several animation studios before creating Studio Ghibli. After graduating Gakushuin University with a degree in political science and economics, Hayao still maintained his love for drawing and animation. This is when he made the decision to forget everything he studied in college and work in the animation industry. The first place he worked was the famous Toei Animation Studio as a inbetweener for animated films. This is the time in his life where he met his life long business associate and Studio Ghibli Co-Founder Isao Takahata. Takahata was one of Miyazaki’s supervising directors on the 1963 TV series Okami Shonen Ken (Ken the Wild Boy). Miyazaki and Takahata also worked together as activists in the company union. (28) This is period in time where he met his wife, Akemi Ota They would later raise two children. One of them would be the director of the Tales of Earth Sea film. Furthermore, after being the Animation Director for Lupin the third series, Hayao decided to leave Toei Animation Studio and work for A Pro. However, this wouldn’t last for long. He worked at several more studios before deciding to open up his own studio with fellow animator Isao Takahata.
Studio Ghibli didn’t start out as an animation hit factory. Many people don’t know how difficult it was for the studio. Back then, no one had never heard of the studio before. Hayao had only one chance to show Japanese audiences that he was capable of making superb anime. The film that initiated his success was the hit film Nausciaa and The Valley of the Wind. The public had ever seen such an outstanding and well crafted animated film before. The film was complex and talked about common issues like greed, power, and environmental destruction. All the films that followed tend to revolve around the same themes. Each film the studio made just kept pushing the boundaries of animated storytelling.
I used some of the same techniques that Hayao used for his animated film for my 20 second project. For instance, In all of the scenes where there is fast motion in Princess Mononoke, everything is animated on 1’s instead of 2’s. This means that every frame has a new drawing. When an animator is animating on 2’s , he is making a new drawing on every two frames. I used the same technique so my animation could be at least a little professional even though it is going to take hard work and a long time before that happens. Using this technique for me worked out perfectly but the bad part was that it is a long process and takes a long time. I actually hated working on the project. I wanted to get the rough animation done in two weeks and then work on the clean up but instead it took five weeks to work on it. The process took so long that I never got the chance to work on the clean up at all.