Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hayao Miyazaki

Stink Spirit reaction

Spirited away is In my top 10 favorite films of all time, and everything I've ever watched by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, I've loved. This image is from a scene where a river spirit, that is just so dirty that no one recognizes it, comes into the bath house, and the main character, Chihiro, has to help him. In the scene Miyazaki has accomplished something really special; he has captured a sense of smell in a movie. It's not just a bunch of people pinching their noses to indicate something stinks, though the people in the background do this, he takes it further. The hairs on characters heads start to curl and veer away from the creature. Even Chihiro's bow on her apron seems to curl away from the smell. Their eyes bug out and their posture leans away. They hold their breath, and greet the creature through gritted teeth. Their clothes start to discolor, and plant life on the ground droops and dies. The facial expressions are amazing. Chihiro's facial structure is really pretty simple, but Miyazaki manages to create the maximum level of disgust there with really simple features. By the time the stinky creature has reached the bath, the viewer is so disgusted by it, you cringe when Chihiro falls into the brown muck left on the floor by it. Miyazaki's attention to the roll every small detail can play in enhancing a feeling is really incredible.


  1. Miyazaki is near and dear to my heart as well. His characters seem so real, so human. When you watch his films, you just get sucked in. The exaggerated movements of his characters convey emotions powerfully, like the raising hair etc. Miyazaki has an eye for capturing immense depth in his characters and, to me, that makes his films unforgettable.

  2. Our first assignment in Illustration Studio was a caricature of a well-known personage, and I actually did mine on Miyazaki. He was really fun to draw, and drawing some of his characters in it was a nice way to explore a different style. I love all of his movies, especially the fact that he bases most of his characters on people he knows personally. Chihiro in Spirited Away was based on one of his friend's daughters, so I think that adds a nice touch to his movies.