The distance between Neverland and reality
On September 6, 2013, the 72-year-old Hayao Miyazaki held a press conference and once again announced his retirement. Although he has made this decision four times before, it turns out that he still can’t let go of his world; therefore, this time, fans all over the world are eagerly looking forward to the fifth comeback of the leader of the animation industry.
But no matter what will happen in the future, Hayao Miyazaki’s decades of animation career and his super heavyweight status in the animation industry have long been a legend that cannot be surpassed. “Time Magazine” evaluated him as the most influential figure in the world, and his rival Disney called him “the Akira Kurosawa of the animation industry”.
Hayao Miyazaki was born in Tokyo’s Bunkyo district in 1941. He grew up in an aviation manufacturing family. Because he was the second son, he was free to choose a career. He chose animation. From the obscurity when he graduated from university in 1963 and stepped into the animation industry, he became famous in the first battle with “Nausicaa of the Wind” (1984) after ten years of hard work, and then founded the “Ghibli” work with his important partner Isao Takahata in 1985 In the studio, he worked hard to create a world, and it has been out of control since then. Hayao Miyazaki has changed from a young boy who was determined to make animations to change society to an animation leader who is now a popular animation leader. Forty years have proved to the world: there are not many excellent animators, there are very few animation masters, and there is only one Hayao Miyazaki!
Counting from “Nausicaa of the Wind” to the present, the animations directed by him include: “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988), “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989), “Porco Rosso” (1992), and “Listen” (1993) “Princess Mononoke” (1997), “Spirited Away” (2001), “Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004), “Ponyo on the Cliff” (2008) and “The Wind Rises” (2013) . In the entire ten classics, he created a unique Miyazaki-style “Neverland”, presenting the road to the spiritual home for people in the mundane world.
This is why we love Hayao Miyazaki—when we get lost in the city’s materialistic desires, are beaten to death by the ceiling of reality, and are at a loss at the crossroads of life, his Neverland It provides us with a place to rest our hearts; more importantly, in addition to comfort, these neverlands also encourage growth, allowing people to absorb the courage and strength to return to reality.
Hayao Miyazaki’s Neverland is not a mirage isolated from the world, on the contrary, it is often separated from the world by a thin line, always quietly hidden behind seemingly ordinary realistic scenes, as long as you pay attention, you can hear their silent calls .
For example, in “Castle in the Sky”, on a boring day, a girl from another world descends from the sky, bringing the message of the city in the sky to ordinary teenagers; in “My Neighbor Totoro”, as long as you have a pure childlike innocence, you can see the lovely creatures in the legend—— In My Neighbor Totoro “Spirited Away”, after the tunnel at the corner of the avenue, Chihiro accidentally crossed to Granny Tang’s magic house; in “Howl’s Moving Castle”, Susan, who was cursed and aged , while wandering, but unintentionally broke into the fantasy moving castle; in “Princess Goldfish on the Cliff”, in the sea next to her home, there is actually a princess goldfish who is the daughter of the sea; In the story, when the plane made by the hero flies across the sky and draws smooth arcs, it also seems to lead people into a free and romantic country.
The magical imagination
of Neverland Wonderful imagination and vitality run through the Miyazaki-style Neverland.
The character settings are often extraordinary and supernatural, such as: My Neighbor Totoro, the flying magical girl Kiki in “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, the cool pig-faced hero Pollock in “Porco Rosso”, “Ghost” The heroic fighting girl Ashan, the god of life unicorn, and the little tree spirit in “Princess”, the wise and reliable white dragon, the lonely faceless man, the boiler grandpa and the little coal spirit in “Spirited Away” in the wizard Tang’s shop, In “Howl’s Moving Castle”, the powerful but heartless magician Hal, the wasteland witch, the fire spirit Calcifer, and the prince who was cast into a scarecrow… a series of character designs are both unexpected and flesh-and-blood. Impressive.
Although the scene design of Neverland is in various poses and with different expressions, they are all full of idyllic charm: or traditional Japanese rural types, such as “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Princess Mononoke” and “The Wind Rises”. The majestic and vast forests, the winding trails, the soil of spring plowing and autumn harvesting, the villagers who work at sunrise and rest at sunset… or the rich European style, such as “Porco Rosso”, “Spirited Away”, “Howl’s Moving Castle” “In “Prince Fish on the Cliff”, there are endless grasslands, sparkling lakes, European-style buildings, etc. The love for the original ecology and nature is the aesthetic taste cultivated by Hayao Miyazaki since he was a child. During the “World War II”, he followed his family to take refuge in the countryside of Tochigi County, where the simple and traditional farming civilization scenery deeply touched his young heart. In addition, in 1975, he went to Italy and Argentina to shoot exterior scenes. The quiet and beautiful rural scenery in Europe made him forget to return. Like the traditional Japanese rural scenery, most of them became the background of his works.
And “soaring into the sky” is another theme of Miyazaki-style Neverland. When Hayao Miyazaki was in poor health, he often stayed in the aircraft factory at home, watching the aircraft being manufactured, repaired, and then gliding in the wind. His bound body and mind seemed to be released at that moment, and he was able to take the plane to the end of the world… This has become a wonderful memory that he can’t get rid of, just waiting to be hooked by him many years later and become himself A prototype of the constructed Neverland. Starting from the “Yufeng Shi” set in “Nausicaa of the Wind”, Hayao Miyazaki has repeatedly shown flying objects in cartoons, which is simply handy, such as: flying ships, flying stones and air cities in “Castle in the Sky” In “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, there is Kiki, who has flying magic, and “Porco Rosso” simply uses the air force hero as the protagonist. Bai is a flying dragon. In “Howl’s Moving Castle”, the scene where Howl walks gracefully in the sky with the heroine Sophie has become a classic, and “The Wind Rises” has the pinnacle presentation of Hayao Miyazaki’s flying complex ——The film tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the developer of the Japanese Type Zero fighter. Nature cannot be separated from the aircraft, and the superb flying images perfectly use up every second of animation space.
The cruel reality
of Neverland However, Hayao Miyazaki’s Neverland is not a pure peach blossom garden. Although they are independent of reality, they still contain realistic factors.
Among them are the disasters caused by human destruction of nature, such as “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”, “Laputa in the Sky”, “Princess Mononoke” and “Princess Goldfish on the Cliff” all revolve around this theme; there are depictions of cruel wars, such as “Porco Rosso” Taking “World War I” as the origin of the story, in “Howl’s Moving Castle”, Howl helps the king to fight and triggers countless bloodshed disasters is a main line of the story. The restless Japanese society is used as the background; in addition to the first two grand themes, there is also an expression of the living plight of people in the modern city, such as “Spirited Away”, where the bathing room of Mrs. Tang is full of money worship and self-lost , greed, indifference between people and other issues.
Hayao Miyazaki is a realist full of dreams. In his Neverland, there are both ethereal appearances and profound insights into reality. The reflection on war and urban life has always been an important ideological connotation throughout the works, accumulating a profound foundation.
The shadow of “World War II” is an eternal scar in Hayao Miyazaki’s life. As a child, he witnessed his family profiting from speculation and profiteering, while the people around them were conscripted into the army, their wives were separated, and they were devastated by the war. He spent his whole growing up thinking about the evils of war, but he was still unable to change it. Until he was 17 years old, he watched Japan’s first full-length color cartoon “White Snake” by chance, and suddenly realized the magical power of cartoons: if you make good use of them , it will be the best way for a person to perceive the world and express himself. At the same time, it is also the best carrier to express the pure and generous quality of children. With the help of this pure and noble ideal country, it will eventually affect real life. Therefore, Hayao Miyazaki determined to become an animator and dedicated his life to the art of animation.
Hayao Miyazaki, who entered the animation industry with such a serious mission, will naturally pay close attention to reality and emphasize the social responsibility of animators. Regarding the world wars, natural destruction, environmental pollution, indifference of human feelings, money worship, loss of responsibility and other issues caused by modern civilization, he expresses his confusion about reality and the torture of his conscience with the help of cartoons, which he is best at. and soul salvation.
Of course, Hayao Miyazaki’s expression is not boring preaching, nor is it naked cruelty, but expresses his thoughts silently with smooth and vivid storylines and touching true feelings. He said: “I have seen many movies that depict the dark side of people and how stupid they are. This kind of movie makes the audience very frustrated, and they walk out of the court (cinema) as if they are the defendant. Whenever I watch this so-called art movie Just remind yourself ‘I must not make movies like this’.”
Expressing one’s own strong wishes and appeals through cartoons is exactly the charm of his works, not blindly making animations for animation’s sake, but integrating ideas into Among them, let the work be full and full.
Love Redemption in Neverland
Hayao Miyazaki’s Neverland is a dualistic world where good and evil coexist, which is similar to reality, and this is exactly the deep meaning of Hayao Miyazaki’s construction of Neverland: How do the protagonists in Neverland face and deal with encounters? The setbacks and difficulties can inspire audiences facing similar situations in reality.
Hayao Miyazaki once said: “The current Japanese society is becoming more and more ambiguous, and it is difficult to distinguish between likes and dislikes. Using the characters in the animation world to tell the reason and power of life is what I consider when making movies.” Therefore, simply writing Neverland Neither good nor evil is his ultimate goal; his focus is to show how the protagonists recover from disappointment and pain, face it bravely, struggle hard, and grow up amid challenges.
His good intentions are here: Even if he is bent over and over again by the storm of reality, he still struggles to stand up again, even if he is knocked down again in the next moment; because it is in this kind of resilience that never gives up , In struggle, talents will gain the true meaning of growth. In this era of increasingly advanced electronic technology, Hayao Miyazaki, who insists on drawing by hand, has been able to stand tall in the animation industry for many years, thanks to the humanistic spirit infused in his works, which has captured the hearts of the audience.
People of different ages and situations see different things in these neverlands—children see wonderful things, adults see memories; frustrated people see inspiration, proud people see joy—— But everything can be attributed to one thing, which is “love”. It is precisely because of love, love for yourself, love for others, love for nature, discover the potential hidden in your body, restore warmth and trust between people, and be full of love for life and nature. and the redemption of others.
Throughout his cartoons over the years, each one tells a story about love.
For example, in “Spirited Away”, at the beginning, Qianxun was just an ordinary little girl who was sullen, tricky and coquettish. When she strayed into the “Hidden Land of the Gods”, her parents were cursed into pigs because of greed, and Qianxun herself loses his memory and faces an identity crisis. In order not to continue to be cursed, she came to work in Granny Tang’s bathroom, and met Xiaobai who was on the same front, capable Xiaoling, the lonely faceless man, the dirty river god, the stern boiler grandpa, and the pampered Tang Mother-in-law’s son and other people of all kinds. While working hard, Chihiro impresses the people around him with sincerity and love; in the end, he reaps the precious friendship with others, discovers his own endless potential, regains himself, and lives with his saved parents. Found the way to come.
In “Howl’s Moving Castle”, Sophie broke the stereotyped image of the traditional heroine waiting for the prince to save her. Instead, despite her ugly appearance, she also has a strong heart, and instead relied on her own wisdom and strength to protect the heroine. At first, Sophie was grateful for Hal’s adoption, so she took care of his daily life; slowly but involuntarily, she comforted and encouraged him when he was wayward, timid, and lost confidence; later, when Hal refused the king’s call, she also resolutely Resolutely fought side by side with him, and defended him fiercely: “Hal will not come, nor will he become the devil king, he will solve the matter with the devil himself, I believe him.” Finally, it is her unconditional trust and love Only then did Hal’s sinking heart that was betrayed to the devil be truly saved.
These witty love stories present a circular structure from reality to dream, and then back to reality. It is a journey of spiritual growth. Their adventure stories in Neverland warmed and comforted the audience in reality, making people firmly embark on the journey of life again.
Hayao Miyazaki’s Neverlands are beautiful, they transcend mediocre life and open the door to magical and romantic kingdoms; but they are so kind, because you will eventually find that they are actually hidden in your heart, which is the era of innocence We all had fantasies and longings, but as we grow older, we gradually lose that original aspiration. Fortunately, Hayao Miyazaki, an old man with a childlike innocence and inexhaustible talent, has continuously built dream islands for us over the years, awakening our memories, allowing us to re-experience the warmth and harvest. New power, feel the never-ending life!