“The Boy and the Heron”: Hayao Miyazaki, the Indomitable Master of Japanese Animation
The Hayao Miyazaki phenomenon strikes again. The recent international premiere of his latest film, “The Boy and the Heron,” at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival has awakened the usual question: will this be his farewell film? If you thought the master of Japanese animation was ready to retire, think again.
In fact, Junichi Nishioka, head of public relations at Studio Ghibli, stated that Miyazaki is still fully active in creating new film projects. It seems that the announcement of his retirement has almost become a sort of recurring joke in the world of cinema and animation. Miyazaki first spoke of retirement in 1997, ahead of the release of “Princess Mononoke,” only to return to the spotlight with the extraordinary success of “Spirited Away,” which won an Oscar. The rumors about his retirement then became more insistent in 2013, after the making of his historical film "The Wind Rises".
But the fact that at 82, and in the role of grandfather, Miyazaki is still productive is a testament to his irrepressible passion for storytelling and art. “The Boy and the Heron”, released in Japan last July 14, is the fruit of this uninterrupted commitment.
What does all this teach us? That Miyazaki's creative ardor still burns brightly, with no signs of fading. And while the world continues to wonder when, and if, his last film will arrive, one thing is certain: his impact on the animation industry and cinema in general is indelible and destined to last over time. So whether you're new to his cinematic universe or a longtime fan, get ready: it looks like Hayao Miyazaki still has a lot to tell.