While on the TIFF 2023 red carpet in Toronto this week, a studio vice-president said that Hayao Miyazaki was still working in the office.
There is a saying that if you really love your passion and your work is your passion, you will never really stop doing it. Now, it seems that the critically-acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki may not be done making movies quite yet. During the red carpet ceremony at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for Miyazaki’s film, The Boy and the Heron, Studio Ghibli executive Junichi Nishioka told CBC‘s Eli Glasner that the Japanese animation genius was still working hard.
This came as a surprise, as this would mark the fourth time that Miyazaki has denied to retire. In many interviews, he discussed how peaceful his retirement was going, but maybe he was just gathering more ideas in his over ten years of solitude.
“Other people say that [The Boy and the Heron] might be his last film, but he doesn’t feel that way at all,” Nishioka told CBC, through a translator. “He is currently working on ideas for a new film. He comes into his office every day and does that. This time, he’s not going to announce his retirement at all. He’s continuing working just as he has always done.”
The man just cannot stop animating cinema gold for us, and no one is really pushing him to do it either! But we are not denying the sublime animator from doing what he loves best. It has really been an interesting journey when the Studio Ghibli director announced to first retire following the release of Princess Mononoke in 1997. Then, he tried to retire in 2001 after the release of the Oscar award-winning film Spirited Away. And the last time we all thought Miyazaki was done making art was after he released The Wind Rises back in 2013.
Now, a decade later and fans are raving to have seen or anticipating to see the latest film from his decade-long hiatus repertoire, How Do You Live (as it is titled in Japan) or in the international markets known as The Boy and the Heron. The animation genius of Hollywood and acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro made a surprise appearance at the TIFF screening for the film. He introduced the film on behalf of Miyazaki and called him “the greatest director of animation ever” and whom he compared to Mozart himself.
A lot of critics have talked about how the film resonated with them on the ruminations and quandaries around mortality, legacy, and posterity. Others were amazed by the twist or pivotal shift the film took at a certain point of the film. A couple of reviews had noted to go into the film with high expectations, as it does have some unpredictability but similar to his other work. Overall, the world will always appreciate more greatness from an artistic master like Hayao Miyazaki.
Stay tuned to read about our review of The Boy and the Heron, coming up soon! And be sure to catch the film yourselves in theaters across North America on December 8, 2023.