Miyazaki once saw "Snezhnaya Koroleva", a Russian animation film directed by Lev Atamanov, at a time when he was unhappy about his job and wondering if he should continue working as an animator. Miyazaki was so moved by it, he "decided to continue working on animation with renewed determination". He says that he learned that characters in animation can act if they are animated well enough, and animation can move people as other media can do.
Miyazaki built a new studio, "Butaya" (Pig House), near Studio Ghibli as his "retirement place", in 1998.
Miyazaki says that having children really changed his work. He said he had always tried to make his anime to please his children while they were growing up.
Miyazaki's second son, Keisuke Miyazaki, made the woodcut print, "Craftsman Making a Violin in Prison", which Shizuku saw in the book in "Whisper of the Heart".
Miyazaki's first son, Goro Miyazaki, is a landscape designer, and he designed the garden on the rooftop of Studio Ghibli.
Miyazaki's wife, Akemi Ôta, was also an animator at Toei Douga, the studio where Miyazaki started his career.
The majority of the characters created by Miyazaki are based on real life people in his life.
Hayao is good friends with famed Pixar director John Lasseter.
Miyazaki allows no more than 10% of footage in his films to be computer generated.
In 1963, Hayao graduated from Gakushuin University with a degree in Political Science and Economics.
Hayao is an Anglophile.
Hayao Miyazaki is making many short films, only a couple of minutes long, which is only shown in the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka City, Tokyo.
Still some of the favorites, like the music promotion film "On your Mark", was released on a separate DVD "Studio Ghibli Shorts" in 2005.
Hayao Miyazaki is a self-proclaimed feminist. This attitude is displayed in many of his films: Ex. in Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime) the bellows of the iron mill were worked only by women, and in Porco Rosso, Porco's plane was designed and rebuilt entirely by women.
Hayao is married to Akemi Ota.
Hayao is good friends with Isao Takahata, with whom he co-founded Studio Ghibli.
Hayao is influenced by the works of Lewis Carroll, Möbius, Diana Wynne Jones, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Hayao has feelings of guilt because he lived comfortably as a child during the war.
Being a child living during a war, Hayao Miyazaki is the son of a munitions engineer.
Hayao finds pigs "easier to draw than camels or giraffes". He uses them a lot because they are like humans in terms of behavior. He is also a big fan of pigs
Hayao is a pessimist.
After the Ghibli film Pom Poko (which deals with environmental issues) a National Park was opened up in Japan named "Totoro National Park".
Many of Hayao's works deal with environmental issues, because he is an environmentalist.
Hayao is a huge fan of Italy.
Hayao likes European settings, as evident in some of his films, including Howl's Moving Castle.
Hayao loves Chuck Jones' Bugs Bunny
Hayao Miyazaki likes being brutally honest, and he indeed is all the time.
Hayao enjoys anything that has to do with airplanes. He even includes them in some of his movies.
In 2006, Hayao Miyazaki's son, Goro Miyazaki, directed a movie, "Tales from Earthsea", for Studio Ghibli. Hayao greatly disapproved of this venture.
On June 6, 2005, Hayao Miyazaki was in New York City's Museum of Modern Art for premiere of all his movies he has worked on.
In June of 2005, all of Hayao's movies were shown in New York City until Thursday, June 30th, 2005.
Hayao is the sign of the (Metal) Dragon.
Hayao Miyazaki's mother was a strict intellectual woman. She suffered from spinal tuberculosis for 9 whole years before she finally died in 1955. She spent the first few years of her sickness in the hospital. Miyazaki's film My Neighbour Totoro was in many ways, a homage to that ordeal.
Hayao Miyazaki's father, Katsuji Miyazaki, was born around 1915. Katsuji died in 1993.
During World War II, Hayao Miyazaki's father, Katsuji Miyazaki, was director of Miyazaki Airplane, a company that made rudders for the zero fighter airplanes. The company was owned by Hayao's uncle (Katsuji's older brother).
During 1944 to 1946, Hayao Miyazaki stayed at Utsunomiya City and Kanuma City in the Ibaragi Prefecture in Japan together with his parents and brothers.
Whenever Hayao Miyazaki talks to someone about a topic, he often becomes so engrossed that even if the person he was talking to were to go to the bathroom, he would continue talking, oblivious.
Despite being a workaholic, Hayao Miyazaki takes a nap everyday between 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm, sleeping for exactly 30 minutes.
Hayao Miyazaki is said to need acupuncture just to keep his drawing-arm working.
Hayao Miyazaki is known to work seven days a week.
Hayao Miyazaki has in the past been refered to as the "Walt Disney of Japan", however, Miyazaki claims that he does not like the title.
Hayao Miyazki has often used music written and conducted by Joe Hisaishi in many of his animation movies.
Hayao is a smoker.
Many of Hayao's films contain strong female characters.
A lot of Hayao Miyazaki's films have stories with flying as part of the them and the action (i.e. Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service).
Hayao Miyazaki: Personally I am very pessimistic. But when, for instance, one of my staff has a baby you can't help but bless them for a good future. Because I can't tell that child, 'Oh, you shouldn't have come into this life.' And yet I know the world is heading in a bad direction. So with those conflicting thoughts in mind, I think about what kind of films I should be making.
Hayao Miyazaki: Well, yes. I believe that children's souls are the inheritors of historical memory from previous generations. It's just that as they grow older and experience the everyday world that memory sinks lower and lower. I feel I need to make a film that reaches down to that level. If I could do that I would die happy.
Hayao Miyazaki: I think 2-D animation disappeared from Disney because they made so many uninteresting films. They became very conservative in the way they created them. It's too bad. I thought 2-D and 3-D could coexist happily.
Discussing the future of hand-drawn animation
Hayao Miyazaki: I'm actually not that worried. I wouldn't give up on it completely. Once in a while there are strange, rich people who like to invest in odd things. You're going to have people in the corners of garages making cartoons to please themselves. And I'm more interested in those people than I am in big business.
Hayao Miyazaki: When I think about the way the computer has taken over and eliminated a certain experience of life, that makes me sad. When we were animating fire some staff said they had never seen wood burning. I said, 'Go watch!' It has disappeared from their daily lives. Japanese baths used to be made by burning firewood. Now you press a button. I don't think you can become an animator if you don't have any experience.
Hayao Miyazaki: Do everything by hand, even when using the computer.
Hayao Miyazaki: When you watch the subtitled version you are probably missing just as many things. There is a layer and a nuance you're not going to get. Film crosses so many borders these days. Of course it is going to be distorted.
Hayao Miyazaki: If [hand-drawn animation] is a dying craft we can't do anything about it. Civilization moves on. Where are all the fresco painters now? Where are the landscape artists? What are they doing now? The world is changing. I have been very fortunate to be able to do the same job for 40 years. That's rare in any era.
(Discussing CGI animation)
Hayao Miyazaki: I've told the people on my CGI staff not to be accurate, not to be true. We're making a mystery here, so make it mysterious.
Hayao Miyazaki: When I talk about traditions, I'm not talking about temples, which we got from China anyway. There is an indigenous Japan, and elements of that are what I'm trying to capture in my work.
Hayao Miyazaki: The concept of portraying evil and then destroying it - I know this is considered mainstream, but I think it is rotten. This idea that whenever something evil happens someone particular can be blamed and punished for it, in life and in politics is hopeless.
Hayao Miyazaki: I'm not going to make movies that tell children "You should despair and run away."
Hayao Miyazaki: I am an animator. I feel like I'm the manager of a animation cinema factory. I am not an executive. I'm rather like a foreman, like the boss of a team of craftsmen. That is the spirit of how I work.
Hayao Miyazaki: Modern life is so thin and shallow and fake. I look forward to when developers go bankrupt, Japan gets poorer and wild grasses take over.
Hayao Miyazaki: I wanted to show that people actually have these things in them that can be called on when they find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. That is how I wish my young friends to be, and I think that is also how they, themselves, hope to be.
Hayao Miyazaki: Prizes do not mean anything to me...it is more important to make a child aware of the existence of a weird creature like a water spider that breathes through its backside.
Hayao Miyazaki:I was almost on the brink of becoming autistic while working on the Nausicaa manga.
During Japan's economic boom in the 80's and 90's, Miyazaki was often heard to criticise other animators for their animations that featured demons, robots, sex, and boys with super armour, super guns, and super libidos.
Hayao Miyazaki: Thirty-five animation shows a week on television, the service sector booming...this is a situation none have encountered before. Historically, it's like the ancient city of Rome - political corruption, murder for entertainment value. The Roman citizens of those days demanded not only their bread, but their circuses.