Favorite Artistic Designer – Hayao Miyazaki

Like many kids, when I was growing up I was exposed to many cartoons. There was a movie that was not quite cartoons that I watched and I really enjoyed. That movie was called Spirited Away. My family was very into these films and as a result we watched almost every movie made from this studio. In fact, I enjoyed these films so much that my top 3 favorite movies of all time are all films by Hayao Miyazakil. In this post I will be going over these top favorite movies and why this makes Hayao my favorite designer. Studio Ghibli has a unique art style, the technical aesthetic style is called Cottagecore because it romanticizes a rural living style. The stories come in an extremely wide variety however they all are deeply meaningful. The stories can come in a simple manor of letting people see the beauty in everyday life and relationships, they can also be about war and the world of spirits where there are extreme adventures. To me, I love these films so much because of how deep they show human nature and the beauties and horrors that lurk within. I will be talking about these movies and want to give ample warning that THERE WILL BE SPOILERS I implore you to watch these movies first.

Movie 1: Nausicaa Valley of the Wind  (1984)


This tale takes place in the distant future because humans have ravaged the planet and now they have to live with giant bugs and a toxic forest. While these kingdoms fight for resources, Nausicaa learns the secrets of the forest and for humans to be able to live peacefully with the forest. This a beautiful concept/movie with loss, adventure, war, giants, and mystery; however, it also has an art style that is very unique to Studio Ghibli.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind 1984, directed by Hayao Miyazaki | Film reviewseaofdecaynausicaa of the valley of the wind - Why were the Torumekian airships so fragile? - Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange

Movie #2: Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke (1997) - IMDb

This tale is about a cursed prince that has to travel across the world to discover why the spirits are so distraught. He ends up in this town that have just invented guns and that are at war with the forest. He comes before war completely breaks out and is able to save the forest before humans kill the forest god. This is a very sad and violent film about human nature

Princess Mononoke (1997) - IMDbAnimation Reviews: Princess MononokePrincess Mononoke Movie Review | Common Sense Media

 Movie #3: Castle in the Sky (1986)

Castle in the Sky (1986) - IMDb

This story is about a girl with royal ties to a castle with unimaginable powers in the sky. This castle holds unimaginable powers and riches which makes it a lovely target for the current military power. On this adventure to reach the castle and to try to stop the military from getting ahold of weapons of immense power. They befriend a band of pirates to beat the military from getting there to no avail. They then have to destroy the castle before it can be used for evil.

Castle in the Sky (1986) - IMDbStudio Ghibli's first film Castle in the Sky is like no other Miyazaki movie - PolygonCastle in the Sky | Oklahoma City Museum of Art | OKCMOA


I have always loved the deep meaning of these stories as well as the beauty of the artwork. The unique and realistic anime style pulls people into the world where they are able to see the beauty of the story of life and love around them. This is why Hayao Miyazaki is my favorite artistic designer

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Roger Carter
    March 6, 2023 1:03 pm

    Very cool, I have seen Princess mononoke, which I enjoyed, but don’t know much more about this work, so thanks. I think I don’t fully understand if there is a specific aesthetic associated with his work, that differs from other anime, as I’m not well versed in the art form.

    • Ethan Street
      March 8, 2023 12:49 pm

      Hello! There is actually a difference from this art style from other animes, and I think that its mostly represented in the eyes of the characters. And the reason for this is to really give more life to the characters. I always love seeing the twinkles in the characters eyes

  • Grady Forsyth
    March 5, 2023 5:37 pm

    I am also a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki. I loved how your post went over some classic films and showed how the stories have differences but adhere to the same artistic style which is unique to Ghibli. Along with Cody, I’d be interested to learn more about the specific aesthetics and artistic process that leads to the style. Really loved this post though!

  • I liked your break down of each film, rather than have a broad overview, it was interesting to see what films stood out to you and what they meant to you in the context of the story and the aesthetic. A suggestion I would have is to perhaps tie in more of the designer and aesthetic into the movies in a more specific context and maybe discussed what inspired Miyazaki?


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