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Added by johanlefourbe on 21 Mar 2018 11:09
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A Complete Review of Hayao Miyazaki's work

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People who added this item 589 Average listal rating (328 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8


What was it about?
A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

My two cents:
First of all, as usual with this director, the animation was just mind-blowing. Indeed, it was really gorgeous to look at, proving that there is still some value in the lost art of the hand-drawn animation. Concerning the story, I was expecting some monsters, ghosts and fairies to show up at every corner but, this time, Miyazaki decided to deliver a realistic period piece which was a welcome surprise. Still, to be honest, I'm not sure I really cared about this tale though. I mean, it was cute and charming, even really romantic and poetic at some point, but it never really grabbed me, I'm afraid. Above all, the main issue I had was probably the fact that the main character was just so nice, smart and gentle (same thing with his fiancee). It is definitely a trademark in Miyazaki's but, I don't know, maybe I'm just too cynical, but I miss some conflict, some dark layers in his characters and, as a result, I find them rather dull. Still, even though it didn’t completely blow me away, it was still a really nice animated feature.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 1629 Average listal rating (925 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7


What was it about?
A five year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.

My two cents:
Seriously, only just to 'see' this movie was already definitely worth a look. Indeed, you had here so many beautiful colors, awesome details and a marvelous combination of realism and fantasy. Considering the story itself, I thought it was quite enjoyable, even though it was not one of the most interesting delivered by this director. Unfortunately, as usual with this Miyazaki, the main character was in my opinion rather bland and uninsteresting but, on the other hand, the title character, Ponyo, was quite delightful. On a side note, I did watch this movie with my 5 year old daughter, thinking it would be a nice watch for her since it seemed to be targeted towards very young children. That was actually a mistake since it is actually more suitable for kids older than 10 years old. Anyway, it was a gorgeous animated feature and, even though it didn’t completely blow me away, I still enjoyed it.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 3119 Average listal rating (1938 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2


What was it about?
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

My two cents:
Well, I really loved the damned thing and it turned out to be my second favorite movie directed by the great Japanese master. First of all, as usual, the animation was nothing short of amazing. In my opinion, it is a real proof that hand-drawn animation can still produce some impressive work of Art and it definitely shouldn't be forgotten or let down. Miyazaki delivered once again a mesmerizing world and, on top of that, the story was really intriguing and entertained me throughout the whole duration. Above all, I really enjoyed how all the characters were very well defined and 3 dimensional which is something I often miss in Miyazaki's work. Indeed, even though I did like all his movies, most of them were actually too lighthearted for my taste. This movie was however one of the few exceptions and it was just so spellbinding to behold.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 808 Average listal rating (445 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
It was actually directed by Hiroyuki Morita. Hayao Miyazaki has produced this movie.

I had never heard of Hiroyuki Morita before but it is understandable since he never directed another movie before or after this feature. Anyway, as usual with Studio Ghibli, the animation was pretty gorgeous but, honestly, I wasn't really blown away by the story. I mean, it was nice, charming and all but, in my opinion, the target audience was, this time, obviously the young children so when I hear people saying that it is great for grown ups as well, I tend to respectfully disagree with them. Of course, at the end of the day, it remains a matter of taste and some might think it is a great flick but, personally, I thought it was not bad at all but I was still rather bored during the whole thing and it is probably my least favorite movie produced by Studio Ghibli.
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People who added this item 4504 Average listal rating (2851 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.6


What was it about?
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

My two cents:
'Mononoke-hime' was the first movie I saw from this director but even though I did like it, to be honest, I wasn't completely sold. Still, I was quite eager to check something else from this director so I also went to see this movie in the movie theater when it was released. Well, this time around, I was just really blown away by the damned thing. As usual with this director, it was visually amazing but, for once, the story was just so fascinating. Indeed, not only did Miyazaki deliver a fascinating world but also he gave us a dark and thrilling tale with some quiet moments and some frenetic action. Furthermore, the pacing which be can challenging in most of Ghibli productions was just flawless here. Another major improvement was that the main character was quite complex and I really cared about what she was going through. It is interesting to note that my wife thought it would be too dark for my kids but I still made them watched this flick when they were very young and they were all mesmerized. Anyway, it is easily one of the best animated features ever produced and even one of my all-time favorite movies.

My rating: 09/10

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What was it about?
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.

My two cents:
In fact, I first saw it in the movie theater when it was released and, back then, there was a huge buzz about this flick and it was thanks to this feature that the Western audience got to be acquainted with Hayao Miyazaki. Well, while I was rewatching this flick, I was surprised by how little I remember it which wasn't really a good sign to be honest. I mean, the animation was, as usual, really impressive and Miyazaki delivered here his most complex mythology and a fascinating world. Unfortunately, as far as I was concerned, the story was entertaining but not much more than that. Above all, the main issue was that, even though it was pretty neat that the main character was a boy for once, Ashitaka turned out to be rather boring even if he was fairly charismatic. Eventually, he was eventually completely upstaged by San who was much more interesting and even Eboshi was more intriguing in my opinion. Anyway, even though it didn't completely blow me away, it was still a very good animated feature.

My rating: 07/10

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It was actually directed by Yoshifumi Kondô. Hayao Miyazaki has produced and written this movie.

First of all, the poster was terribly misleading as it made me believe that it would be another typical fantasy feature from Studio Ghibli. Eventually, it turned out to be eventually a hyper realistic movie but it wasn't an issue, in the contrary, as they gave us here one of the best depictions of teenage romance I have ever seen. Furthermore, I enjoyed also the complexity displayed by the main character who was much more interesting than many other Ghibli main female characters who very often turn out to be too bland and too cute for my taste. I wonder why most of their main characters are girls but it remains a refreshing trademark in the male dominated film business. To be honest, some of the scenes did feel like they were coming from a soap and the whole thing felt slightly unfocused from time to time but most of it still worked fine.
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People who added this item 1156 Average listal rating (641 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8


What was it about?
In 1930s Italy, a veteran World War I pilot is cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig.

My two cents:
Unfortunately, I didn't care much for this movie which remains, as far as I'm concerned, one of the weakest movies delivered by Miyazaki. I mean, as usual with this director , the animation was just top-notch, filled with some very neat details and the action scenes were pretty much breathtaking but even though the story was gentle and sweet like many other Ghibli productions, to be honest, it was also rather boring. It's too bad because, for once, the main character was not one of their usual pure and innocent girls which was quite refreshing and really promising but to go for a man with a pig face was a rather odd choice and I can't say I really cared for this character. Anyway, even though I didn’t really like the damned ting, it is still an intriguing animated feature and it is worth a look, at least, once.

My rating: 06/10

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What was it about?
A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

My two cents:
Eventually, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. Indeed, when I heard that it would be about a young witch called Kiki, I thought it would be really childish but I really enjoyed it, even if it was still too cute and gentle for my taste. First of all, as usual with this director, the animation was just really impressive, especially since it has been made almost 30 years ago. Then, even though Miyazaki gave us another nice little girl as a protagonist, she turned out to be much more complex than his usual characters who can be slightly boring to be honest. Basically, she was a teenager going through puberty explaining why she was almost rude during some scenes, at least, that's how it seemed to be for me. As a result, there was an interesting balance between the cuteness you get in your average animated feature and also in many Ghibli productions and a nice darker and more believable approach about growing up in a real or fantactic world. Still, the whole thing never reached the depth and complexity of 'Spirited Away' which remains by far the best movie delivered by this director. Anyway, it didn't miss much to be really amazing.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 2677 Average listal rating (1610 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2


What was it about?
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

My two cents:
If I recall it correctly, I first saw this flick in the movie theater, of course, not when it was released (back then, I don’t think Hayao Miyazaki had already had his international breakthrough) but the local Art house movie theater wanted to re-release it for some reasons, probably because of Miyazaki’s impressive reputation. Anyway, to be honest, even though this movie is considered as a classic from Studio Ghibli, I had actually a hard time to really connect with this tale. I mean, I have to admit that it was without a doubt easily their cutest production (the cat bus was especially really awesome) but the plot was just really thin. Furthermore, for once, there gave us 2 main characters but since the running time was rather short, there was no time to really develop them and, as a result, these 2 girls were both rather uninteresting and, to be honest, even sometimes slightly annoying. Anyway, even though I wasn't really blown away by the whole thing, it is still a really solid animated feature.

My rating: 07/10

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What was it about?
A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

My two cents:
To be honest, even if I was really eager to check this movie, I still struggled to get into the damned thing. I mean, you have to agree that the beginning was pretty much a huge mess during which most of the main protagonists were displayed without any introduction whatsoever during some rather chaotic action scene. My guess is that, since the whole thing already had a running time of 120 mins, they had to rush things somehow so they skipped a more standard introduction. As usual with Miyazaki, the main character was once again one of his typical pure and innocent girls but I always find them rather boring. At least, Pazu was slightly more interesting and entertaining. And yet, I have to admit that the damned thing slowly won me over somehow. First of all, even though it is now 30 years old, the animation was still quite impressive, especially during the action scenes which were just so amazing to look at. There was also something quite mesmerizing about this mysterious floating island and the ending was quite powerful. Eventually, even though it was eventually too chaotic and messy for my taste, it was still pretty good.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 23 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.5


What was it about?
The adventures of the canine detective Sherlock Hound and his loyal companions Dr. Watson, Mrs. Hudson and Inspector Lestrade.

My two cents:
It's only recently that I discovered that Miyazaki had directed some episodes for this TV-show. On top of that, it has been ages since I saw the damned thing, at least 25 years ago, and, to be honest, it was hardly one of my favorite shows back then when I was a kid. I still remember that it was a decent watch though. The main issue I had, at the time, was that the whole thing was just too repetitive but it makes sense since it was aimed towards very young children. Anyway, I would like to see it again at some point just to check the quality of the animation, especially if you would compare it to what was available at the time on TV for kids.

My rating: 07/10
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What was it about?
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

My two cents:
Even though this movie has quite an impressive reputation, to be honest, I always had a hard time to connect with the damned thing. I mean, as usual with Studio Ghibli, the animation was really neat and this story dealing with a post-apocalyptic world had a nice dark edge but it was still missing something. In my opinion, the biggest issue was actually with the main character. Indeed, Nausicaa was a bright kind and courageous princess but that was exactly the problem. Indeed, she must be the most flawless character ever created by Hayao Miyazaki but she was so flawless that, as a result, she became in fact rather boring, I'm afraid. The other characters were even less interesting which didn't help either. I undestand that, in this dark and chaotic world, she was supposed to be some kind of beacon of light but this approach actually really backfired in my opinon. Anyway, even though I wasn't not really blown away by the damned thing, I still enjoyed it since there was so much creativity and imagination displayed.

My rating: 07/10

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What was it about?
A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.

My two cents:
Well, even though it was fairly enjoyable, it was still Hayao Miyazaki's weakest effort so far. Indeed, basically, it wasn’t a personal project but, like everyone else, he had to start somewhere and I guess it could have been worse. Obviously, the animation felt rather dated, although some action scenes (above all the car chase at the beginning) were sometimes quite mind-blowing and I found out afterwards that they had just 4 months (!) of production. How could they manage to make this 100 minutes animated feature in such a short time is beyond me, especially when you think that the average production time for an animated flick is usually around 4 years. Apparently, because of this tight production schedule, Miyazaki had to play around with the script and he was never really satisfied with the end-result. To be honest, the whole plot was pretty chaotic but maybe it has to do with the fact that I hadn’t seen the previous installment or the TV show it was based on. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, it remains a decent watch.

My rating: 06/10

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Since I have finally managed to watch all the movies directed by Hayao Miyazaki, I thought I should make one of these lists for this guy as well.

Enjoy!


Added to

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A Complete Review of various directors' work (53 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 6 years, 7 months ago 7 comments



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