This video essay explores how different expressions of loss manifest in Miyazaki’s films, and why it’s critical to acknowledge how animation tackles grim themes, despite it commonly being trivialized as a light-hearted medium for children.
The essay content is inspired by Susan Napier’s observations in her book, Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art (2018), and the Hayao Miyazaki exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
“Miyazaki’s decision to go for a magical resolution to real-life trauma underlines one of [his] key messages: that belief in the powers of nature and the imagination will give us the strength to go beyond ourselves and transcend the traumas of daily life” (Napier 118).
Essay content written by: Jeremiah Raz, Elizabeth Bugtai, and Brandon James.
Edited by: Serena Chouhan.