Nevertheless, my very best friend Hyao makes the most amazing movies. He is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. Think Disney but the Japanese version. His films mesmerize me....some more than others. The music is always perfect. The animation is always so beautiful you want to jump into the movie and feel the grass, or fly, or smell the smells, or touch the ocean. The stories are so compelling. We own quite a few of his movies. Spirited Away....Princess Mononoke...Whisper of The Heart....The Secret World of Arrietty...Kiki's Delivery Service...Howls Moving Castle....Ponyo...My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in The Sky just to name a few.
There is a certain mood that I often want to be in and when I want to be in this, "longing for the simple..soaring...mellow...appreciative of nature" mood I know it is imperative that I watch a Miyazaki film. (Oh come on you know which movies will totally put you in which moods....admit it :) I was fascinated to learn the other day that his movies make my kids feel the same way. Natalie brought me one of his movies that she wanted to watch the other day and she declared to me that she loves the way it feels when she watches his movies. She did not know how to articulate much past that but she knew they made her feel a certain way. The music is always haunting and flowing and perfect. The colors are so rich and true. There is often a hint of an innocent but very sweet romance. The main, proactive, get things done, empowered character in his films is almost always a girl. She almost ALWAYS a cause to fight for. Often an environmental one. I am not a tree hugger so that is not why I love these movies but if you are into that sort of thing many of these movies will make your tree hugging heart swell.
Ponyo is one of my least favorites. I have a huge unreasonable fear of water flooding. And Ponyo has water and flooding and it is very unsettling to me because when I have bad dreams they always involve me being in a car that is trying to drive through water. Analyze me if you must. It probably means I was meant to be much richer than I am ....you know "wading" through money :) Also, the main character Ponyo feels a little bratty to me.
I hope I am telling you about something that you already know about. But if you have never heard about Miyazaki films I beg you to go check one out from the library (like that plug for the library :) And give them a chance. They are not available to stream on Netflix but they are available to get on dvd through Netflix. I am trying to get my hands on his latest one that got nominated for an Academy Award....The Wind Rises.