Coming unbelievablely close to crying to happy tears, today’s visit to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo had me see the entire creative smorgasbord of Miyazaki’s background works, so overwhelmingly powerful in its unique beauty and expressiveness I was in absolute awe time and time again. While many of the exhibits were clearly designed with children in mind ( in another sense Miyazaki’s works tend to bring out the hidden child in our psyche ), the mockup animation studio, plastered all over with ORIGINAL MIYAZAKI coloured concept sketches, storyboards, stole most of my time as I pored over each drawing, in particular those of Mononoke Hime, as if the close physical proximity in the presence of such grandeur would transfer some of its creative potency to me. Alas, nothing.
By a mere stroke of luck, Pixar Animation Studios was also hosting an exhibition of its concept works under the auspices of Miyazaki. On its own this would have generated an enormous amount of excitement ( all the concept works are also originals, the pastels on the Finding Nemo coloured storyboards still flaky ), but when pitched against Ghibli’s wonderful work I couldn’t bring myself to appreciate it fully. Certainly the animators from Pixar attest to the influence of Miyazaki’s works ( see picture above ), where they’ve painted a much iconic Totoro poster complete with Mike and Sullivan, surrounded by signatures and praises from many of their animators, the main caption reading “To Hayao Miyazaki : Your work is an inspiration to us.”