Shortly after graduating in 1963, Miyazaki landed a job as an inbetweener—helping to create seamless frames—at Toei Douga, Japan’s leading animation studio. But just as important to Miyazaki’s career was his role as chief secretary of Toei Douga’s labor union. His involvement with the union, and the union itself, deviated from Japan’s cultural programming, which insists on absolute subordination to one’s employer. As a labor leader, he made many valuable career connections and met his future wife, animator Akemi Ot. In 1971, Miyazaki left Toei Douga for A-Pro, an animation studio owned by two of his former Toei Douga colleagues. At A-Pro and subsequent studios, Miyazaki honed his skills as a storyteller and animator in both television and film. He also became a popular author and creator of manga.
In 1984, Miyazaki released his first full-length feature, Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, which was based on his popular manga series. It was so successful that he was able to establish Studio Ghibli. More importantly, the success of the movie revived feature-length animation in Japan. For some time, television anime had threatened to render animated movies obsolete. Miyazaki’s films helped to reverse this trend, and the success of each new Miyazaki film has surpassed its predecessors. Princess Mononoke received the Japanese Academy Award for Best Film and was the highest-grossing domestic film in Japan’s history until Spirited Away supplanted it.
Now in his sixties, Miyazaki shows no sign of slowing down. His films are still not commercially successful in America, possibly because American audiences have difficulty identifying with the Japanese culture he explores. However, his influence on the art of feature-length anime has given it a quality unrivalled in American animation.
Although this page puts it that Chihiro and Haku share a purely platonic, brother/sister love, this is not true. For one thing, it just doesn't seem like it in the movie. For another, and more importantly, when the movie is played in Chinese, the boiler man (or Zeniba, I forget who) refers to Haku as Chihiro's 男朋友 which means boyfriend. So definitely, romantic relationship there.
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I always wondered why Kamaji told Chihiro that the train used to go two ways, yet it only goes one way now. He could have just told her that it goes one way, right?
Does the conjecture; the train symbolises going to the afterlife, and that our lack of belief has caused it to become a one way trip, make sense?
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When Chihiro and her parents exited the amusement park and entered their car, why was it filled with leaves and branches, just as if they left the car for several months in the woods? I also noticed that the vegetation had grown substantially. Maybe I am mistaken or time runs differently in the spirit world, any thoughts?
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Take a Study Break!