Hiyao Miazaki has maintained an influential career as a film director, animator, manga artist, illustrator and producer across six decades. His skills and success have earned him comparison to Walt Disney, Nick Park and Steven Spielberg. Alongside Isao Takahata, Hiyao Miazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli (April 1985), his film and animation studio. Through his talent and animation studio he has become one of the most famous and influential of all animators (and my personal favorite). Today, I will be looking at some of his works that he did during the 1980s — A time period that resulted in several of his greatest works.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
This film is considered one of his greatest works by many. It paved the way for the themes which appear in many of his films such as concern for the environmental, aviation and anti-military messages. It also is considered a precursor for another one of his greatest films, Princess Mononoke. Also, it is important to point out the almost dream-like images that appear in all of his films as a result of the peculiar creatures and fantastical occurrences.
Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)
This is his first film that he made with Studio Ghibli. It is focused around two orphans who go on a magical journey to Laputa, a magical land in the sky, in search of their parents. Once again this brings into play his fascination with flight which is intertwined into an incredible mythical story line.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
In My Neighbor Totoro, two little girls move to a new home and befriend the forest spirits. This is another very famous film of Hayao Miyazaki. Many of the images from this movie have become iconic Such as this one where the little girls are waiting with the forrest spirit at the bus stop:
Kiki´s Delivery Service (1989)
Finally, this was the last of the 1980s films that Hiyao Miyazaki produced and my personal favorite as a child. This is the enchanting story of Kiki, a young, charming witch finding her place in the big city.
What makes all of these films so wonderful is the fanciful aspect to them. Anything can happen in a Hiyao Miyazaki film. Also, they are just so beautifully animated that is impossible not to enjoy them just on the basis of the artwork alone. In a variety of ways, Hiyao Miyakazki is one of the most brilliant film makers of not just the 1980s, but in history as well.