Variety has just reported that anime industry and storytelling legend Hayao Miyazaki has announced he is retiring. After a screening for “The Wind Rises” (based on an anti-war short story by Jiro Horikoshi), the head of Studio Ghibli Koji Hoshino broke the announcement to a stunned crowd. “Miyazaki has decided that “Kaze Tachinu” (The Wind Rises) will be his last film, and he will now retire,” said Hoshino.
Although no reasons were given at the time of the announcement, it was said that Miyazaki will hold a briefing in Tokyo next week. Miyazaki, who is 72, has shaped much of the animation industry with his films – his stories holding both worldwide appeal and meaning to fans of all ages. Many employees of Pixar, Disney and Dream Works have been influenced by his works and spoken his praise. John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Principle Creative Adviser for Walt Disney Imagineering, has been a close friend and admirer of Miyazaki for many years (and has served as Executive Producer for several of Miyazaki’s films when they released in the US.)
Although many of us have imagined that this day would arrive as Miyazaki grew older, the news is still a bit sad. As so many of us have connected to Miyazaki’s characters and their adventures, it is only natural that we would want to hold on to the hope that he would continue bringing us tales of imagination and inspiration just a little while longer.
We at Big Shiny Robot wish him the absolute best in his future, and thank him for all the wonderful experiences he has imparted to us over the years. I stumbled across this video a little while back on Youtube and I can’t think of a better way to remember some of Miyazaki’s best: