The legendary Japanese director, Hayao Miyazaki, has been threatening to retire since the late 1990s, something that will apparently finally come true this year.
Miyazaki is known for directing movies such as Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and The Wind Rises. His latest, and last, film, The Boy and the Heron, was released internationally earlier this month.
Now, as with countless other Miyazaki films, the 82-year-old director agrees: he is done making movies.
Three of Miyazaki’s films, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, is part of Japan’s top 10 films of all time. He has also won dozens of awards for his animated films over the years, including the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival and an award for Best Animation at the 75th Academy Awards for his movie, Spirited Away. He was also honored with the Academy’s prestigious honors award in 2014.
He in 1997, after the issue of Princess Mononoke, announced for the first time that he was retiring. Four years later, however, he has another movie, the award-winning Spirited Away, made, after which he again said that retirement beckoned. More than a decade later The Wind Rises released, and just like his previous two films, the Studio Ghibli director claims he is done making movies.
Yet, 10 years later, is The Boy and the Heron in movie theaters where
widely seen. Together with another promise that this will be Miyazaki’s last movie.
Before The Boy and the Heron finally hit cinemas, little was known about the film. The initial title of the animated film, How Do You Live?has been changed so that it will appeal to international audiences.
As marketing, only a poster was issued, without any additional information or trailer.
“The Boy and the Heron makes one think that Miyazaki realizes that he has now become a historical element in the animation industry,” writes reviewer Alicia Haddick The Verge about the film.
The film takes place in a war-torn Tokyo, with dark, deep scenes that remind one of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, Haddick says. The imaginative animation is what attracts one at first, she writes, but one keeps watching to experience the deep human story that is stored in the impressive animation.
“It’s hard to say whether Miyazaki will finally retire, he’s probably never really going to stop making animated movies.”