Happy 77th Birthday Hayao Miyazaki

Happy 77th Birthday Hayao Miyazaki

Today is Hayao Miyazaki's 77th birthday. Here's wishing a happy day with many more fruitful years to come. The director is busy working on his next "post-retirement" feature animated movie, which should be completed within the next three years. His newest animated short film, Boro the Caterpillar, is expected to be screened at the Ghibli Museum in Japan later this year (and, sorry, there are no plans for foreign distribution).

This photograph of a young Miyazaki is from the production of Horus, Prince of the Sun between late 1965 and early 1968. According to the documentary movie Yasuo Otsuka's Joy in Motion, the aspiring animator was 25 years old at the time of this picture, which would date it at 1966. Other than the hair color and lack of beard (which he didn't grow until the 1990s), he looks essentially the same. Imagine spending an afternoon in his company, when he was in the prime of his youth, full of energy and vitality and overwhelming ambition. At age 77, he still possesses more energy than most filmmakers half his age.

Personally, I'm glad that Miyazaki is back, even if only for a little while longer. Some artists should never stop creating, the relentless march of time be damned. As long as he can still hold a pencil, he should draw. The world needs his art. There are far too many loud, obnoxious and stupid cartoons crowding our movie screens, but there is never enough of Miyazaki. There is always room for more.

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