Archive for August, 2009

Hayao Miyazaki: The Greatest Director You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

Hayao Miyazaki might very well be the best regarded filmmaker working today. He is worshipped by animators everywhere; John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and director of “Toy Story,” called him “one of the great filmmakers of our time.” He is by far the highest-grossing filmmaker in Japan; in his home country, his 2003 Oscar-winning masterpiece “Spirited Away” proved to be a bigger box-office draw than “Titanic.” Miyazaki-themed merchandise has filled toy boxes of Japanese children for a generation. And a few years ago, he even opened the Disneyland-like Ghibli Museum on the outskirts of Tokyo. Yet in the States, he remains a relatively obscure name.

This week that might start to change as Miyazaki’s latest movie, “Ponyo,” is finally getting its American release. Boasting the voice talent of Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, Tina Fey along with Miley Cyrus’ little sister Noah and the Jonas Brothers’ younger sibling Frankie, “Ponyo” is an exceedingly loose adaptation from Hans Christian Andersons’s “The Little Mermaid.” Continue reading ‘Hayao Miyazaki: The Greatest Director You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of’

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