Few filmmakers have been as adept at capturing and conveying a sense of wonder and awe as Hayao Miyazaki. His films are full of fantastical landscapes, machines, and creatures that capture the imagination and even bring a tear (or two) to the eye. So I confess, I was a bit skeptical when I read about a 3D tribute to the man’s works, if only because 3D always seems so gimmicky — and there’s nothing gimmicky about Miyazaki’s animation.
But Paris-based filmmaker “dono” pulls it off with aplomb. Or, as The Creators Project puts it, “dono recreates all our favorite worlds in 3D animation software Blender, then composites the emotionally-loaded scenes into their new environments using Gimp, Octane, and Natron. Think of the part in My Neighbor Totoro (1988), when Mei sits on the titular beast’s fluffy belly, in 3D, and you’ll want to just quit your job and relax with a family of wood spirits.”
Technical jargon aside, this is a truly fantastic tribute that condenses everything that’s good and golden about Miyazaki’s work into three minutes. (Joe Hisaishi’s delightful music definitely adds to the effect.)
In other Miyazaki-related news, Disney recently announced details for a comprehensive Miyazaki Blu-ray collection. Not only will “The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki” contain all eleven Miyazaki films, including such beloved titles as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Spirited Away, but it will also feature some more obscure material:
But the highlight for those who already own all of these films on Blu-ray will be the set’s bonus features, including Yuki no Taiyo (Yuki’s Sun) — a 1972 television pilot based on a manga by Tetsuya Chiba that was directed, storyboarded and animated by Hayao Miyazaki. The set also contains three episodes (26, 27, and 41) of the 1972 animé series Akado Suzunosuk (Little Samurai), featuring storyboards by the filmmaker.
The set will also feature Tomohiro Machiyama’s book The Great Dichotomy: Looking at the Works of Hayao Miyazaki which “explores the themes and techniques of this revered Japanese filmmaker, and selected text from Hayao Miyazaki’s initial notes and creative proposals for the production of each film.” The Blu-ray set will be available exclusively from Amazon on November 17 and can be preordered for $225.
Read more about Hayao Miyazaki.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.