Spirited Away

Since some fans are keen on creating petitions, here’s something that’s actually worthy of public outcry. This is what it would have been like to hear that Walt Disney was quitting.

For five decades, Hiyao Miyazaki has been a wondrous fixture in our imaginations, and at the ripe young age of 72, he’s expressed interest in retiring, according to Variety. What’s remarkable is that he’s only directed 11 features (all in a time-intensive medium), but that batting average places him in an elite group of filmmakers that aimed high on quality instead of overwhelming quantity.

He’s also threatened to retire before — notably after Princess Mononoke — so there’s still hope that he’ll change his mind again. If he shunned a permanent vacation then to make Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, it seems reasonable that he has even more magic up his sleeve (or in his fireplace)  following his latest, The Wind Rises. But if that is indeed his last film as a director, its anti-war sentiment, epic scope and connection to his airplane-building father make it a fitting capstone. The world needs Miyazaki’s vision, but we’re lucky to have gotten so much of it already. Then again, maybe we should be launching a petition anyway. He really needs to know about the Soderberghian Retirement Method.


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