When it comes to stalwarts of animation, one of the pioneering figures is Hayao Miyazaki. His anime films in Studio Ghibli are still largely hand-drawn. The studio has a reputation for taking its time to release projects. When they do, most become cinematic masterpieces. Fiercely protective of his work, Miyazaki had a love-hate relationship in the current digital age. Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshiro Suzuki, a long-time friend of Miyazaki, spoke with Yahoo Japan on March 7 about the decision to grant Netflix rights to stream the company's anime film library.
"Hayao Miyazaki is currently making a movie but it's taking a really long time. When that happens, it's only natural that it will require a lot of money too. I told him this can cover the production costs for that movie. When I said that, he said 'Well, there's nothing I can do then.'"
Technology Resistant But Flexible
When it comes to modern technology, Miyazaki remains blissfully ignorant. Suzuki helped fills in the blanks for him and sees the advantages streaming services provide for content creation.
"Hayao Miyazaki doesn't know exactly what video streaming services like Netflix are. He doesn't use personal computers, he doesn't use smartphones. So when you mention digital distribution to him, he just doesn't get it. With Netflix, we're starting to see new movies being made on the streaming service, which I think is interesting. At the same time, they're making movies from projects that movie companies never would have agreed to before. That's due to on-demand distribution, and I think that's a really good thing."
Miyazaki scored three Academy Award nominations as recently as 2014 over his nearly 50-year career. The Academy gave him an honorary award in 2015. He's working on his next film How Do You Live? which he started in 2016.
The film depicts the psychological growth of a teenage boy through interactions with his friends and uncle.