Now that she’s 13 years old, it’s time for young Kiki to start thinking about her future. So one night, under the shine of a full moon, she grabs her black cat Jiji, hops on her mother’s broom and heads off into the night. The next day she alights upon a friendly oceanside city, and this, she tells her loyal and furry companion, is where she’ll spend the next year learning how to become a real, honest-to-goodness witch.
is one of Japan’s most beloved animation directors. His first feature, The Castle of Cagliostro
, was released in 1979. His film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
, based on his own manga, was released in 1984. In 1985, Miyazaki cofounded Studio Ghibli, through which he directed the box office smashes Princess Mononoke
(1997) and Spirited Away
(2001), which won the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. Howl’s Moving Castle
(2004) received the Osella Award for technical achievement at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival. In 2005, VIFF awarded Miyazaki the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement.
His other acclaimed films include My Neighbor Totoro
, Kiki’s Delivery Service
. Miyazaki’s essays, interviews and memoirs have been collected in Starting Point: 1979–1996
and Turning Point: 1997–2008
. His final film, The Wind Rises
, was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award®. In November 2014, Miyazaki received an honorary Academy Award® at the academy’s sixth annual Governor’s Awards. Presenter and Pixar head John Lassetter declared Miyazaki “the most original filmmaker to ever work in our medium.”