What Does Hayao Miyazaki's Work Mean to You?

The first time I saw a Hayao Miyazaki movie, I will never forget. The new animated film called Princess Mononoke was coming to theaters and I was in college. I heard of the other films of the director, but they weren't readily available in my town. Mononoke was released in the US two years after it was released in Japan. I did not know this. I was at that point in my life where film fans would eat anything new and different. I was about to get something really special.

I didn't know what to expect when I sat down for Princess Mononoke at the Angelika Film Center in New York City. I couldn't believe my eyes two hours later. You want to grab it. You have no idea where the stories are going. You are drawn to the characters that are bold and vulnerable. I devoured old and new Miyazaki films in the years after Princess Mononoke became one of my favorites. It was my favorite film of 2001. I had a nostalgia for plane movies thanks to my grandfather. The classics like Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, and the rest made me want to vomit.

I shared the films with the woman who became my wife. She too became enamored with the work of this incredible filmmaker. When we purchased a home, my wife and I dedicated an entire section to his works. Olly Moss is one of the artists in the photo.

Hayao Miyazaki and his films have more than one thing in common. They mean a lot in many different ways. Maybe you feel the same. Please share with us what his work means to you on his 81st birthday.