Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎 駿, Miyazaki Hayao, born January 5, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan) is a famous director of many popular anime films. He also co-founded Studio Ghibli, along with Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki. He was almost unknown in the West until the release of Princess Mononoke in 1997. His later film, Spirited Away, went on to be the first anime to ever win an Academy Award. Howl's Moving Castle was nominated for an Academy Award but did not win.

Miyazaki's films usually have common themes among them, including the typical struggle between good and evil, environmentalism, and politics. The protagonists are usually strong, independent girls or young women and the villains are typically uncertain in nature with redeeming qualities.

He was announced to retire right after his last feature film, The Wind Rises, but will continue to work on short films.

Animation Style/Themes

Good & Evil

Most of Miyazaki's films feature some sort of struggle between good and evil. For example, in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Nausicaa is struggling to save the Valley of the Wind after it is invaded by the Tolmekians. Also, in Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Pazu must save Sheeta after she is captured by Muska.


Several of Miyazaki's film go into man's concern for nature. Such as, in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Nausicaa spend a portion of the movie doing research to find a cure for the toxin plaguing their lands. And in Princess Mononoke, San, being raised by wolfs, is very angry at man for destroying their forests.


Anti-War is a big theme in both Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and in Princess Mononoke. In both movies, the main characters are trying to stop all of the wars. Nausicaa wants to stop the animals from fighting, as well as the main battle against the Pejitans and the Ohmu.


Flight is a recurring theme in many of Miyazaki's films, in one form or another. In Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Nausicaa uses a glider to get to places. And there are many airships in the movie, as well. There are also airships in Castle in the Sky and Porco Rosso, as well. And Porco Rosso is an air delivery pilot. In Kiki's Delivery Service, Kiki regularly flies around on a broom and there is a blimp, as well as a homemade plane in the movie, too. In Spirited Away, Haku can turn into a dragon to fly around. In My Neighbor Totoro, Totoro flies around on a spinning top. And then, in Howl's Moving Castle, Howl can turn in a bird and fly around. Howl's Castle turns into a flying castle.

Visual Devices

The use of visual devices is common in all of Miyazaki's film. He will pan away from the action for a few seconds to add a momentary lull to the movie. For instance, showing raindrops hitting a rock and darkening it has been used in several of his movies.


Miyazaki's early interest in Marxism is apparent in a few of his films, such as Porco Rosso. In Castle in the Sky, the working class is portrayed in idealized terms.


Miyazaki's main influence comes from French animator Paul Grimault. Also influencing him a lot is the Russian film, The Snow Queen. Other contemporary animation directors that influence him are Yuri Nordstein from Russia and Frederick Bach from Canada.





  • Panda! Go, Panda! (1972 film)
  • Panda! Go, Panda! and the Rainy-Day Circus (1973 short film)
  • The Kusakabe's Sister (1974, short 35 minute film)
  • Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (1979 film)
  • The New Lupin III (1980 series)
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984 film) (Manga) (Screenplay)
  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986 film) (Story) (Screenplay)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988 film)
  • Kiki's Delivery Service (1989 film) (Screenplay)
  • Porco Rosso (1992 film) (Story) (Screenplay)
  • On Your Mark (1995 music video) (Writer)
  • Whisper of the Heart (1995 film) (Screenplay)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997 film) (Screenplay)
  • Spirited Away (2001 film) (Story) (Screenplay)
  • The Whale Hunt (2001 short film exclusive to the Studio Ghibli Museum)
  • Koro's Big Day Out (2001 short film exclusive to the Studio Ghibli Museum)
  • Mei and the Kittenbus (2002 short film exclusive to the Studio Ghibli Museum)
  • Howl's Moving Castle (2004 film) (Screenplay)
  • Monmon the Water Spider (2006 short film exclusive to the Studio Ghibli Museum)
  • House-hunting (2006 short film exclusive to the Studio Ghibli Museum)
  • The Day I Harvested A Star (2006 short film exclusive to the Studio Ghibli Museum)
  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008 film) (Idea) (Screenplay)

Art Director

Art Department

Animation Department

  • Doggie March (1963 film) (Inbetween Artist)
  • Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon (1965 film) (Inbetween Artist)
  • Hols: Prince of the Sun (1968 film) (Animator)
  • Puss 'n Boots (1969 film) (Key Animator)
  • Flying Phantom Ship (1969 film) (Animator)
  • Animal Treasure Island (1971 film) (Key Animator)
  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1971 film) (Key Animator)
  • Ninja Girl Ecchan (1971 series) (Key Animator)
  • 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1976 series) (Animator) (Layout Artist)
  • Future Boy Conan (1978 series) (Character Designer)
  • Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (1979 film) (Character Designer)
  • Space Adventure Cobra (1982 film) (Key Animator)



  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008 film) (Writer: Ponyo on the Cliff)

Miscellaneous Crew

  • Animal Treasure Island (1971 film) (Story Consultant)
  • Panda! Go, Panda! (1972 film) (Screen Design)
  • Panda! Go, Panda! and the Rainy-Day Circus (1973 film) (Screen Designer)
  • Heidi, Girl of the Alps (1974 series) (Screen Layout)
  • The Story of Heidi (1979 film, english dubbed version)
  • Future Boy Conan (1984 series) (Director: Archive Footage)
  • Sherlock Hound, the Detective (1984 series) (Technical Director)
  • Pom Poko (1994 film) (Planner)
  • The Cat Returns (2002 film) (Project Concept)
  • The Invention of Destruction in the Imaginary Machines (2002 film) (Planner)



  • The Art of "Spirited Away" (2003 video)
  • Princess Mononoke: Making of a Masterpiece (2004 video)
  • Ghibli et le mystère Miyazaki (2005 TV special)
  • Le Voyage de Chihiro: La philosophie du studio Ghibli (2005 video)


  • StarCraft (1998 video game) (as Miyazaki Hayao)