HAYAO MIYAZAKI: ENVIRONMENTALISM & ANIME
Kirstin Hardin (United States of America)
1 – University of Central Florida
Kirstin Hardin is attending the Emerging Media MFA – Animation & Visual Effects program at the University of Central Florida. Her undergraduate degree was completed at Morehead State University, where
In this research paper, I explore how director Hayao Miyazaki of Japan’s animation powerhouse, Studio Ghibli, often focuses on environmentalism in his animated feature length films. A few of Miyazaki’s films that particularly maintain a nature theme are Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, and Spirited Away. Miyazaki’s films delve into the environmentalist topics of industrialism, destruction of natural resources, and pollution.
Miyazaki portrays his animated worlds in a way that shows a connection between every action. The characters that achieve balance with nature by interacting with it in a non-destructive way are the ones who succeed. This link between actions is also shown by depicting the destruction of humans as frequently being the result of destruction to nature. Thus, humans instigate their own downfall in his films by not taking care of the environment. Hayao Miyazaki shows that he wants the audience to come away with an understanding that humanity can either take care of their environment through sustainable practices or they will end up destroying it.