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Friday, November 14, 2014

Hayao Miyazaki Honored A Governor's Award Ceremony

The fact that this occurred on my birthday last week should be of no surprise to anyone who knows me and kismet.

Animator Miyazaki Hayao (surname first) was the recipient of an honorary Oscar award at the Governor’s Award ceremony on November 8, 2014.

The Governors Awards presentation is an annual award ceremony hosted by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center. Three awards, the Academy Honorary Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award are presented at this ceremony.

The first Governors Awards ceremony was held on November 14, 2009. Prior to this, these three awards were formally presented during the main Academy Award ceremony, which now conducts a short mention and appearance of the awards recipients after displaying a montage of the Governors Awards presentation.

The legendary Japanese animator had previously won an Academy Award for his film Spirited Away, the highest-grossing film in Japanese history. Miyazaki was introduced by John Lasseter of Pixar during the award ceremony.

"Miyazaki-san is the most original filmmaker to ever work in our medium," Lasseter says. "An artist of incredible sensitivity and vision, his films are made with such heart and skill."

Miyazaki’s first film was Lupin III: The Castle of Calgiostro in 1979. Since then he’s gone on to direct other massively influential animated features such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (a favorite - that I saw once), My Neighbor Totoro (perhaps my #1 all-time favorite movie I first saw in Japan at the Hutchison family house in Nikko!), Kiki’s Delivery Service (thanks to Michael, I saw it last year!), Princess Mononoke, The Cat Returns, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, The Wind Rises, among many others that people need to make me watch.

His films have won countless awards and his storytelling has always received high praise. He is the first anime director to receive the Academy Honorary Award, and only one of four animators.

The Honorary Award is given "to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts or sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy."

Miyazaki gave a brief acceptance speech at the ceremony, where he spoke of his great luck of being able to work in an era where he could make animated films with pencil, paper, and film.

"But my greatest luck is that I’ve been able to meet Miss Maureen O’Hara today," he jokes.

Though Miyazaki retired from feature film direction and production in 2013, he has continued to work on manga and short films. His last full-length film was The Wind Rises, which focused on aircraft designer Horikoshi Jiro (surname first).

The only mention I have in this blog (aside from now) was one I wrote on the Mitsubishi Zero, Japan's key World War II fighter plane HERE.

The Wind Rises was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Frozen.

I saw Frozen at my kid's school during movie night. I suppose I would have enjoyed it if I didn't have to listen to all female students sing every single bloody song in the movie. Holy crap. I mean... if they were one key, I could take it.

Andrew Joseph

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