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Producer: Miyazaki Wanted to Make 'Ponyo 2' Instead of The Wind Rises

posted on by Egan Loo

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki told an American audience on Friday that studio co-founder and director Hayao Miyazaki wanted to make "Ponyo Part II" instead of The Wind Rises. Suzuki was explaining the role of a Japanese anime producer at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' presentation for this year's Animated Feature nominees.

Suzuki noted that Miyazaki said that he want to make a sequel to Ponyo, but Suzuki asked Miyazaki to adapt his own manga Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) instead. Academy presentation host (and Wreck-It Ralph's title voice actor) John C. Reilly drily noted that Suzuki did the exact opposite of what an American producer would have done.

Benjamin Renner, a co-director of another Oscar-nominated film Ernest & Celestine, told the audience that he was not allowed to watch anime until he was an adult. The first Japanese animated work he watched was Miyazaki's Spirited Away and that inspired him to go to film school. (Ernest & Celestine was his first project right out of film school.) He was visibly emotional when discussing about Miyazaki's influence on his life, and had to pause in the middle of the discussion to compose himself.

When Reilly asked the directors and producers of the Oscar-nominated works to name the one seminal work that inspired them in animation, about half a dozen named Miyazaki's films such as Totoro and Spirited Away.

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