As an animation style, anime remained within the walls of the Japanese animation industry, while the West was contented with Disney templates of animation, until Hayao Miyazaki turned up with his animated feature films. Miyazaki has made animated masterpieces for the last forty years, and considered as the living legend in animation. He established as a master filmmaker through his tremendous volume of work in feature and animation films. A career that of Miyazaki, which is continuously successful and ever expanding in terms of craft and dexterity, is very rare in the history of world cinema.

This video essay starts with the famous Miyazaki saying, “Creating animation means creating a fictional world, which soothes the spirits of those who are disheartened and exhausted from dealing with the sharp edges of reality,” It reveals a Miyazaki who redefined the typical animator stature prevalent in Hollywood and how he elated the animator as an auteur. Like a true master, Miyazaki concentrates on the emotional intricacies of characters instead of creating some cartoon characters for children.

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His unique treatment and vision helps the viewer’s move a step closer to the universal human condition. While critics were admiring Disney’s works for their technical edge, Miyazaki surpassed their simplistic emotional depictions of characters by replacing the external flare with an internal aura, which was quiet humane and vulnerable at the same time. He also focused on the organic bond between the characters and the nature through his movies. His major works include Spirited Away, The Castle of Cagliostro, Castle in the Sky, From Up on Poppy Hill, and The Wind Rises, all made under his banner Studio Gibli.

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Miyazaki is a perfect combination of the proficiency and skill of western animators and spiritualistic sensibility of the eastern aesthetics. Hence, his movies and characters are firmly grounded in empathy and reality. The truthfulness of his characters helps us to understand ourselves better, and in that way to become more virtuous human beings.   

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