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Hayao Miyazaki Talks Futures... and This Time, Retirement Isn't on the Tip of His Tongue

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green has translated highlights from Cut magazine's extensive interview with widely hailed animated film director Hayao Miyazaki. As plans now stand, retirement doesn't seemed to be in the card for the 69 year old director of Oscar winning Spirited Away, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro and Ponyo.
Miyazaki aims to develop two films over the next three years (as in preparing a project proposal paper, forming the staff, and writing a script). Rookie directors may helm the film productions. On one hand, Miyazaki has some thoughts for what he'd like to do if his home base at Studio Ghibli flourishes with its next slate of films. A "Last Sortie" follow up to 1992's Porco Rosso is on his mind. That more adult mind animated movie followed a once World War I fighter face living as a pig faced bounty hunter on the Adriatic Sea. "I'm not thinking about a movie of a girl." "I think that I must think about only a movie of a boy." "I do not need to make a movie if it is not a tragic story of a boy." "So I want to escape to "Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie". I have all its materials." "It should be interesting." "It is set for Spanish Civil War." "If next two films succeed and [studio president Toshio] Suzuki-san lets me make it (Porco) while saying, 'It cannot be helped because it's a hobby of the old man', I'm happy. It's my hobby." On the other hand, if the studio fairs poorly, he and Suzuki have developed a "dissolution program for Ghibli." "For example, Ghibli should be able to continue with about five staff members as a copyright management company even if we smash the studio. So, Ghibli can say 'We stop film production. Goodbye'. I do not have to be there."

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  • Aug. 21, 2010, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Miyazaki is God

    by Nasty In The Pasty


  • Aug. 21, 2010, 9:11 p.m. CST



    Oh Dear God Please Please Please.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Wait... so when Miyazaki retires/dies, the studio is done?

    by BeeDub

    That's stupid.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Once Miyazaki retires/dies...

    by Johnno

    Rather than just disband Ghibli or turn it into an IP holder, Disney/Pixar ought to buy it and finance its future endevors.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST


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  • Aug. 21, 2010, 10:42 p.m. CST

    When Miyazaki retires/dies..

    by 100Proof

    ... Ghibli is irrelevant. While I'd certainly be willing to give whatever they attempted to do past that a try (they've certainly earned that right), Miyazaki IS Ghibli. Look at Disney after Walt's death... the studio's animation department floundered for nearly 2 decades.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 10:46 p.m. CST

    They may need to consider

    by veritasses

    making something with broad, global appeal and with more merchandising potential. Miyazaki's a genius but his films hardly fit those categories. Perhaps an action oriented serialized anime designed from the ground up for commercial appeal.... like non-Ghibli-ish designs (for toys, plush dolls and such). I wouldn't be against them selling out so that they could survive for Miyazaki to make more films.<BR><BR> I would also love to see how a story from the guys at Pixar, animated by Ghibli would turn out.<BR><BR>

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 10:50 p.m. CST

    I would actually be against

    by veritasses

    A larger company buying up Ghibli though... esp an American studio. Collaboration, producing/financing specific projects etc is ok.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 10:56 p.m. CST


    by Uzala

    Doesn't Ghibli still have Isao Takahata? If so, then even without Miyazaki, they're hardly irrelevant.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST

    this very brief talkback just reveal to us that..

    by ludmir88

    nobody gives a fuck about miyazaki. FACT.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 11:22 p.m. CST

    I'm confused...

    by Animorganimate

    I love Miyazaki's animated movies - especially Spirited Away - but why is there a bipedal primate/swine hybrid creature who can fly planes in a world filled with "normal" human types? Is this a normal anime concept? I mean, I know ANYTHING goes in anime, but what is with this premise? Please fill me in.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Vveritasses: Booooooo, what a horrible idea

    by mistergreen

    Ideas like that is the very reason why when Miyazaki retires, they'll fold the studio.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 11:26 p.m. CST

    The only reason to buy up Gibli is ....

    by mistergreen

    to get the rights to the movies and make a Hollywood live action 3D movie out of it.

  • Aug. 21, 2010, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Enough of this shinto crap invading america

    by ErichZann

    America was based on the rights of the individual -- FACT. Japanese culture doesn't honor the individual -- FACT. Therefore, letting Japanese creative works have such dominance is going to cause Americans to question their beliefs and weaken America. Look at Japanese history -- all they do is copy other people. America is the opposite of that, but now we look up to them. No wonder we forgot how to actually make quality products in this country.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 12:14 a.m. CST

    My names Ponyo I used to be a fish!!!!

    by sonnyfern

    Ponyo is the most beautiful most amazing animated films I've seen in a long time. Forget Pixars CG one can touch Miyazaki!!!

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Miyazaki is fucking boring

    by PTSDPete

    Tell that to Disney.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 2:25 a.m. CST

    a sequel to Porco Rosso!

    by Gorgomel

    could be awesome or could be a disaster!

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Princess is better than all starwars prequels.

    by UltraTron

    It's fucking glorious. Nausica- released the year Jedi came out holds it's own against any sci-fi/fantasy universe. Spirited Away- nuff said. Some of the most profound and amazing film experiences. More please. Oh and shoot billy bob thorton's mononoke dub in the face for me

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Miyazaki needs Disney/Alan Menken/Howard Ashman

    by MyScroteHasGout

    Now I know Howard Ashman is currently dead, but imagine a Miyazaki film produced and animated by Disney with Alan Menken scoring and Howard Ashman producing. Disney died once Howard Ashman passed away. Fact. It was over at that point. They hired Elton John to write songs for a movie and that ended it. Enchanted almost brought them back, though (Alan Menken scored that one, btw) we'll see. <BR><BR> Also, I'm aware that the Lion King made a big mountain of money...but that was Disney Twilight. JTT singing "I just cant wait to be king" was no one gives a shit about it. Not in the way that we absolutely cherish the Alan Menken masterpieces.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 4:24 a.m. CST

    UltraTron, shit in my toilet is better than the star wars preque

    by MyScroteHasGout

    So that's not really much of a've got to compare it to something that's not terrible.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 4:38 a.m. CST

    A new Porco Rosso in the Spanish Civil War?

    by paketep

    I think I'm having an erection right now

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 5 a.m. CST

    Well fuck, how can I not comment on this

    by Porco Drunko

    More Miyazaki can only ever be a good thing, well unless you're talking about Goro Miyazaki... BURN! <p> This sounds awesome, though I'd be more interested in him exploring new characters. Can't wait to see if this actually happens.<p>

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 5:10 a.m. CST

    veritasses comment is...

    by Player01

    ...exactly everything that's wrong with hollywood, and why Studio Ghibli produce the amazing work it does. I can't believe all the crap that I just read there, i just can't believe it.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 5:13 a.m. CST

    And some of you fuckers want musicals too?

    by Player01

    I mean WHAT THE FUCK? Americans should just keep the fuck away from Studio Ghibli. A Miyazaki film produced and animated by DISNEY??? I mean, what the fuck? GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM THAT IDEA RIGHT NOW!! Some of you just dont' get it...

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 5:16 a.m. CST

    ErichZann - Fuck Off

    by Player01

    Go watch Yojimbo then spout that crap again. Seriously, this talkback is pissing me off.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 5:45 a.m. CST

    @ Animorganimate

    by Al_Shut

    He lost his "humanity" during his service in WWI. The movie just takes that concept literally.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 5:49 a.m. CST

    What a bizarre interview

    by Teko

    Ghibli has made the highest grossing movies in Japanese history, Miyazaki's a national treasure, and he's saying they'll just give up in defeat if their next two movies aren't blockbusters? Is he that pessimisstic?

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 6:07 a.m. CST


    by Gorgomel

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 8:20 a.m. CST


    by alienindisguise

    all America does is follow trends and copy bullshit year after year which is why the majority of things created in this country suck shit. Other countries don't have as profound an effect on us as you'd like to think. It's no other countries problem that the US is comprised mainly of weak minded sheep.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 8:21 a.m. CST

    by childerolandusa

    Yeah, 'cause what Disney needs is a way to sell even more toys. These next two films will probably be hits anyway, so Ghibli folding probably isn't a problem. Though if Disney thinks the way veritass does, folding would be for the best. Why ruin the legacy?

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Dark Porco Rosso

    by Alientoast

    Ponyo discovers that her taste for ham has taken a dark twist. She kidnaps Porco Rosso and cooks him for dinner. HAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Player and mistergreen

    by veritasses

    Miyazaki needs an independent studio in order to continue to create the movies he wants to make, which is why I stated that I'm against Disney or some other big company buying Ghibli. <BR><BR> However, quite obviously, Ghibli's current business model is causing Miyazaki enough concern that he's talking publicly about folding the company if his next couple of works aren't successful. So what are the alternatives? Fold the company and goodbye Ghibli (and Miyazaki) forever? That would be the far greater crime in my book.<BR><BR> What I'm suggesting, is that there's no reason why they couldn't turn to other forms of revenue, such as (and this is just one example) making more broadly appealing, commercial stuff which would in turn create more/better licensing opportunities. I think what you're thinking is commercial stuff = crappy anime, but that's not my take at all. I think Ghibli can maintain their high standard while still appearling the the mass market. Those guys are artists and true master craftsmen and that won't change just because of the different focus in their work. If they can pull it off then it's a win-win for everyone involved. And this doesn't mean Miyazaki stops doing what he's doing.<BR><BR> Had Pixar not already made "Up" I think Ghibli couldn't done something really different but equally wonderful with that script.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

    veritasses: Point is, they Don't want to.

    by mistergreen

    By THEY, I mean Miyazaki. He is the studio.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Howl's Castle

    by sportsguy88

    Howl's Moving Castle is simply one of the best movies! Don't understand why it gets looked over so much? sigh

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 1:22 p.m. CST

    even the trailers for his movies put me to sleep

    by HaterofCrap

    Miyazaki is all hype.. his movies are fuckin duds.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 1:23 p.m. CST

    A story from the guys at Pixar, animated by Ghibli...

    by Subtitles_Off

    Several characters - with slightly bigger eyes and less of a need to shout - go somewhere together.<P>And old people are sad.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 1:25 p.m. CST


    by Subtitles_Off

    If you haven't seen PORCO ROSSO, don't expect me to fill you in. Just rent it and enjoy it for yourself.<P>Stick to the subtitled version, though.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Yeah but if your lucky you wake up and catch the

    by UltraTron

    end and there's a god running down the side of a mountain chasing his head and you say to yourself holy fucking shit this is epic I get it now these movies would have been unfilmable until now and the concepts are beyond most anything ever done live action- then you go back and watch the whole thing with original translation in a real theater that sounds better than any in LA and you are a better person afterwards

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST


    by 1st and only

    that didnt make any sense. was it translated by a monkey? In what context was Miyazaki talking about the potential failure of porco rosso 2 and why? It must have been some kind of tongue in cheek humorous remark, being fully aware that everything he touches makes money (even if the work is getting gradually weaker)

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 4:07 p.m. CST


    by veritasses

    I disagree The translation is incomplete (and horrible) but I see the whole thing as more of a possible scenario they discussed. Not to mention, nothing in business that's more then a year or so out is definitive. The issue is all about capital and there are many ways to work around that. If they're willing to partner with another company and dip their toes into making video games then I'm sure they'd be open to other business, financial and creative possibilities.<BR><BR> And as far as I can tell, it's Suzuki who came up with the dissolution idea, not Miyazaki. The naussica translation seems to indicate that Miyazaki wants to keep doing his "hobby" if Suzuki "let's him."

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Perfect place to ask this question...

    by BoStrike1

    (I also asked in the other Miyazaki feature today)......WHY on earth does Princess Mononoke never get mentioned in articles/interviews/reviews concerning Miyazaki? Why is it so overlooked? In terms of scale and production value, it is only topped by Spirited Away. I can understand how the slightly "off" closing act keeps it from having the over-all polish of Spirited, Totoro and Kiki, but it seems some of its strengths, such as an unmatched score (in the ghibli universe), should make up for this a little. I just can't figure out why this film gets mentioned less in articles than films like Howl's, Ponyo and Castle.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    If Ghibli looked promising

    by gun_will_travel

    Pixar's brain trust would buy it. Those guys cream for Miyazaki. I suspect there's not much to salvage there.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Miyazaki, while cool and all, isn't Studio Ghibli

    by Dreamwriter

    They *have* made good films without Miyazaki. And heck, many of the people who now work at Studio Ghibli did amazing things before there even was a Studio Ghibli, like The Last Unicorn and The Hobbit.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Princess Mononoke is Miyazaki's greatest film!!!

    by Johnno

    Bostrike1 is right, it's a shame people tend to forget about it, only because it's far more 'adult' than the rest of Miyazaki's stuff. But that film is amazing in every frame, from music to animation and imagery that simply can't be topped by anything live action. In fact, I'm gonna go watch it again right now just because... Hope it gets a blu-ray release. I'd buy it all over again!

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 7:10 p.m. CST


    by Henry Fool

    I hope Miyazaki lays of the kiddie flicks and gives us some more adult fare. I love the idea of a Porco Ross sequel and I hope they hire Michael Keaton to reprise the role for the English version. I'd rather see sequels to Mononoke or Nausicaa, though.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 8:44 p.m. CST

    'Grave of the Fireflies' towers over all of Ghibli...

    by workshed

    ...and it certainly ain't Miyazaki. In fact, Takahata is meant to be releasing a newie this year. Looking forward to Ghibli's adaptation of 'The Borrowers' too.

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 9:35 p.m. CST

    ????!!!!! Towers?! Holy fuck. Haven't seen graves-

    by UltraTron

    is this guy insane? I'll have to check it out and judge his sanity. Nothing better than being introduced to new awesome. As for Mononoke- It's another place and time. Completely transportive. That demon at the beginning is the best demon threat ever uttered

  • Aug. 22, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    More Miyazaki movies? Oh please god, yes!

    by Rhuragh

    Someone please hand Mr. Miyazaki a copy of Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories. It would make a _perfect_ Miyazaki film. And the main character is a boy too!

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Graves is based on reality. Ghibli only does fantasy.

    by Galactic

    Just because they're both anime doesn't mean you can compare Grave of the Fireflies to anything by Ghibli/Miyazaki. It would be like comparing Schindler's List to Starship Troopers.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Don't watch Grave of the Fireflies and expect it to...

    by Galactic

    be anything at all like any Miyazaki movie you've ever seen. It just LOOKS similar. It's really one of the harshest movies ever made.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Hard movie to watch. But one everyone should.

    by Dennis_Moore

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Watch it, if only

    by mychuma

    to question your own thoughts about the necessity of war. And Miyazaki is way past the 'one last picture and after that retirement'crap. He'll draw pretty pictures till they spoonfeed him soup in his retirement home.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Grave Of The Fireflies

    by LaserPants

    Is easily one of the most heart-wrenching movies I have ever seen in my entire life. I totally wept like a little girl when I saw it. Achingly sad.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Porco Rosso Is Great!

    by LaserPants

    I'd watch a sequel to that! Hell, I'll pretty much watch, and, odds are, love, anything Miyazaki does.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Which side would Porco Rosso fight for?

    by detinue

    Ethical dilemma here since both sides of the Spanish Civil War were cruel and evil.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Grave of the Fireflies has one major flaw...

    by detinue that it goes way out of its way to avoid the reality that Japan started the war in the first place. The movie is in a complete state of denial over it. While I have much sympathy for the boy and his sister as they aren't personally at fault, its awfully had to feel too maudlin for them since throughout the story they regularly praise the nation and government that got everyone into the mess in the first place.

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  • Aug. 26, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST


    by Squilookle

    A sequel to Porco Freaking Rosso? One of my all time favourite stories transcending genre and medium? If it happens I could die happy the moment the credits roll! Mind you, I think a Nausicaa sequel NEEDS to be made, if only to put the rest of the comic on film. Use the extended main theme!

  • Sept. 1, 2010, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Re-Release the Ghibli classics in theaters!!!

    by T 1000 xp professional

    reacquaint a new generation with Studio Ghibli before their very own and long awaited Blu-Ray release and then release a new Ghibli film..... money.... yeah, I think this amazing on a constant basis.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 9:56 p.m. CST


    by the_box_drone

    "Just because they're both anime doesn't mean you can compare Grave of the Fireflies to anything by Ghibli/Miyazaki. It would be like comparing Schindler's List to Starship Troopers." I take it nobody told you that Fireflies WAS made by Ghibli, eh? It's an amazing movie, and I'm glad I saw it once, but I don't think you could pay me to ever watch it again. That's the saddest shit EVER. One of the dumb-ass local video stores had it in the children's section - I feel very sorry for any kids who's oblivious parents may have rented it for them!