Hayao Miyazaki: 'Spirited Away' from film but not comics

Animation director Hayao Miyazaki will be honored Saturday night with an Academy Award. 

(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)
Hayao Miyazaki, one of animation's most admired and successful directors, speaks in 2013 on his retirement in Tokyo. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present Honorary Awards to Jean-Claude Carrière, Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Harry Belafonte.

Fans of the animated films such as “Spirited Away” and Ponyo” who were devastated when Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement in February can at least rejoice in the director being honored Saturday night when the International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the artist and director with its Governors Award.

“I really felt that this was the maximum that I could give to produce an animated film,” Miyazaki told Buzzfeed in February after announcing his retirement for the second time in his long career. “The work of animation is building up bricks and mortar, bricks and mortar. I felt I wouldn’t be able to put [up] another brick.”

Today’s honorary Oscar is “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy," according to the Academy's website

Miyazaki is an artist, writer, director, producer and three-time Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature Film category.

He won an Oscar for 'Spirited Away' (2002). 

His other Academy Award nominations include: 'Howl’s Moving Castle' (2005)  and 'The Wind Rises'  (2013).  

Miyazaki has a huge international following, particularly in his homeland, Japan.

Some of his most famous works include: 'Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,' 'Laputa: Castle in the Sky,' 'My Neighbor Totoro,' and 'Kiki’s Delivery Service,' and the mega international sensation 'Princess Mononoke' in the late 1990s.  

He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio based in Tokyo

Honorary awards are also being presented to Novelist Jean-Claude Carrière and Actress Maureen O’Hara, known for her roles in 'The Quiet Man' co-starring John Wayne  and 'Miracle on 34th Street.'  

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award goes to Singer Harry Belafonte for his long fight against injustice, racial and otherwise. Initially known for his Calypso music in the 1950s and 60s, Mr. Belafonte became known for fighting against the “Black List” of the McCarthy Era and for human rights.

Also according to Buzzfeed, Miyazaki says that for him retirement from film making means keeping his hand in by working on “exhibition projects and short films” for the Ghibli Museum.

This may also be a boon for comic book fans since the artist intends to return to drawing a manga comics.

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