Miyazaki's Cameos

Last night, we took a look at Isao Takahata's cameo appearance in Grave of the Fireflies. Tonight, let's take a look at Miyazaki.

In a looser sense, you could point to many of Miyazaki's characters from his career as self-portraits, like Future Boy Conan or Porco Rosso or Howl. But that's not what I'm talking about now. I mean the good 'ol fashioned movie cameo. Roll the tape!

Miyazaki makes his first cameo here, in the final episode of the original 1971-72 series Lupin III. In fact, he appears twice, in successive shots during a crazed car chase. In this first shot, young Hayao-san is sitting in the car on the left. If you look to the right, you will also see Yasuo Otsuka, proudly showing off his jeep to a friend.

Here is the second appearance a few seconds later. The car crashes through the house, breaking through the Miyazaki clan, including wife and son. Hmm...I've wondered if that was meant to be the young Goro in this cut. Definitely one of the two boys.

It's pretty interesting, at that, seeing father and son together, not just because of their surrounding interactions and family dramas with Studio Ghibli so many years later. It's interesting because Miyazaki poses with his son at the end of Panda Kopanda. This is the long pan of the crowd at the zoo, and it appears that the entire production team appears scattered in the crowd. I've long wondered just how many cameos are packed into this scene, and maybe one of these days, somebody will be in a position to ask.

Note to Pixar employees: pass those Panda Kopanda pics along to John Lasseter and have him quiz Miyazaki-san the next time they meet. You'll have your chance later this year for the US Ponyo premier. Who's up to the challenge? Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?!

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