Lasseter Celebrates 'Ponyo' Creator Hayao Miyazaki
When the legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki took the stage last month at cavernous "Fanboy Hall" H -- his first visit to San Diego Comic-Con -- he received a thunderous standing overation.
Then soon, while "sneak" footage of Miyazaki's new film "Ponyo" played on the jumbo screens, the crowd, rapt, was dead-silent.
That silence -- one of awe and wonder and deep respect for the craft and the craftsman -- was its own deafening ovation.
"Ponyo" opens nationwide today, receiving the largest American release of Miyazaki's career -- roughly a thousand theaters, some reports say -- thanks largely to the concerted push by Disney/Pixar and, especially, Pixar founder John Lasseter. Miyazaki, it should be noted, is the man behind such acclaimed films as "Princess Mononoke"w and "Spirited Away."
At Comic-Con, Lasseter asked Miyazaki was his creative process is. Miyazaki, speaking through a translator, replied with characteristic self-deprecation: "My process is thinking...thinking...and thinking.
"If you have a better way," he said, pausing for effect, "please let me know."
Lasseter called Miyazaki, who is one of his animation heroes, "one of the most important filmmakers working today." Lasseter emphasized about the film's relatively large release: "This country deserves these films."
Lasseter first met Miyazaki in 1987, during work on "My Neighbor Totoro." The Pixar founder recalled visiting his hero's Studio Ghibli in Japan and being wowed by the stunningly colored storyboards. They literally were a sight to behold -- and be held.
Soon, the great Miyazaki-san and Lasseter were being presented with the Inkpot Award for their career contributions to animation. The crowd roared. Uttering a humble, softspoken thanks, Miyazaki -- like his work -- spoke volumes.
(To view the English-language trailer, click HERE.)
THE RELATED READ:
THE 'RIFFS INTERVIEW: "Up" co-director Bob Peterson of Pixar.
THE 'RIFFS INTERVIEW: "Wall*E" animator Angus MacLane.
| August 14, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories: San Diego Comic-Con, The Animation, The Holly Word
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