I've been thinking about Hayao Miyazaki lately and it was pretty coincidental that I found a video essay about him that was recently released. The essay is pretty long so watch it if you have the time but if you don't I've outlined some of the main points made throughout the video.
Lewis Bond, the author of the essay, informs us about some history at the start, -- and unless you're 100% in love with Miyazaki's films you probably won't like watching it -- but once he starts exploring the differences between Miyazaki and other animators that's when things really kick off. He poses the idea that Miyazaki's films surround themselves around two things empathy and reality.
Bond really hits the nail on the head here. Because many of Miyazaki's films put a lot of emphasis on the characters that inhabit them. And Bond reminds us that Miyazaki purposely puts a lot of emphasis on the character and their subtle movements. And it's true what Bond says, it becomes easier for us -- the audience -- to identify with a character on the screen because the smaller details are things that we recognize in our real lives.
Even though many of his films include a magical world, it's based in reality through the characters and the way they express real human emotion. While I watched this I thought of all the movies (animated and otherwise) that don't put the character at the forefront of their story. It made me really appreciate Miyazaki's films and narratives. And the conclusion I truly came to was this: even though Miyazaki's films are all animated, they all give us a real reflection of human emotion than most Hollywood films.
All of Miyazaki's films allow us to take a quick mental break from the world we inhabit on a daily basis. Bond highlights this and allows us to appreciate these films we've grown to love. Whether you have a nostalgic feeling surrounding Miyazaki or if you recently found his films and binge-watched his filmography, there's no denying that he's touched and enhanced your life in one way or another.