Directing an animation movie is a risky job, and this risk increases when your father is the world’s greatest animation director. Goro Miyazaki is the new face of Ghibli movies, and by looking at the young director’s track record, it is not going as planned.
Hayao Miyazaki’s legacy is untouched. During his time as the director of films at Studio Ghibli, the man has directed some of the best Japanese animation movies that went on to win Oscars and multiple academic awards, making a huge name for the Japanese animation style in the western countries. Compared to his father, Goro has directed only a handful of movies, and unfortunately, none of his films received the same love and support as his father.
Goro’s artistic style might often come as confusing as using 3D computer animation style for Japanese animation movies is considered taboo. Although a fair share of animation directors use 3D computer animation and CGI for animation, Goro’s movies were not as promising even after using CGI. Unlike his father, Goro’s vision for the new art style is not reaping any benefit for him. Furthermore, out of the three movies Goro directed, only one of them was able to capture the Ghibli essence, which was the output of Hayao Miyazaki’s scriptwriting and undertaking of the operation when Goro was not around.
Why Goro Miyazaki is the riskiest director of Studio Ghibli
Any Ghibli fan would agree that the hand-drawn animation is the root of Studio Ghibli’s success. Anime movies like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart, and The Cat Returns were some of the best movies that came out of Studio Ghibli.
The former movies were excellent, especially with the hand-drawn animation style and frame-to-frame settings to accomplish the soothing style Studio Ghibli is known for. Unlike Studio Ghibli’s legacy as the hand-drawn style studio, Goro Miyazaki’s adaptation of CGI and 3D computer animation is being condemned by animators from Japan and western countries.
Moreover, Goro’s newest project, Earwig and the Witch, went under the radar as very few picked up the movie and soon came to the realization that the movie is not following the Ghibli hand-drawn style, making it less interesting to its viewers.
Why fans didn’t like Earwig and the Witch
The first and foremost reason is CGI animation, which is not something you’ll see in traditional Japanese animation movies. As part of the culture, Japanese audiences are familiar with the hand-drawn animation style, which is the root of all the style structure of all the animation films and TV series produced in Japan. Secondly, Studio Ghibli is known for its great visuals and colorful background, which is not achievable by modern-day 3D animation. A great example of this dilemma is another Studio Ghibli’s movie Howl’s Moving Castle. Mamoru Hosoda was originally hired to direct the movie, but due to the strict rules of hand-drawn animation, and less dependency on CGI, Hosoda left the project as the studio was forcing him to make the animation similar to what Hayao Miyazaki would have made. This peculiar condition forced the director to quit, and the project was once again handed over to Hayao Miyazaki. Goro might be putting the studio in danger with his direction, as using the new methods and CGI just doesn’t cut-out for Studio Ghibli history and future in the animation industry
At this point, it is hard to judge what the future holds for Studio Ghibli. Will it incorporate the 3D animation elements or will it go back to its earlier days of hand-drawn animation? Nobody knows! But any Ghibli fan would expect the new and upcoming movies to carry the same essence of magic that has been holding Studio Ghibli at the top position. Will Goro Miyazaki change the future for Studio Ghibli, or will it all go down in vain? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.