Turner Classic Movies Spotlight Miyazaki

Nov 8th 2005
Turner Classic Movies Turns January Spotlight
on Legendary Japanese Animator Hayao Miyazaki

Oscar-Winning Director Feted with Nine Movies,
Presented in Both Japanese and English-Language Versions*

Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro
Among Animé Classics Included in Month-Long Celebration

Oscar-Winner John Lasseter (Toy Story) to Provide Introductions

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is turning its January spotlight on one of Japan's most celebrated filmmakers, Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki, often called the Walt Disney of Japan. Each Thursday in January, TCM will present classic Miyazaki animation, each film presented first in its English-dubbed format, with an encore presented with the original Japanese-language track.* The festival kicks off Thursday, Jan. 5, Miyazaki-san's 65th birthday, with the movie that earned the esteemed director the Oscar for Best Animated Film, Spirited Away (2002). TCM's telecast of each movie will be introduced by animation director John Lasseter (Toy Story), who directed the English-language track on Spirited Away.
Miyazaki-san was born in Tokyo in 1941 and graduated from the prestigious Gakushuin University in 1963, with a degree in political science and economics. As a university student, he became deeply interested in children's literature and read a wide variety of books written for children all over the world. Inspired by the work of animators Taiji Yabushita and Lev Atamanov, Miyazaki-san joined Toei Animation Company, first as an “in-betweener” (the animator who connects segments of key animation) and later as a key animator. His work for the company included storyboards and designs for numerous TV series and feature films, often in collaboration with his friend and mentor, Isao Takahata.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (airing Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.) established Miyazaki-san as one of the most talented directors in the burgeoning Japanese animation industry. In 1985, he and Takahata-san founded Studio Ghibli. The Castle in the Sky (Jan. 12 at 10 p.m.) began an unbroken string of hits for the studio. Miyazaki-san continued to direct such impressive films as 1988's My Neighbor Totoro (Jan. 19 at 8 p.m.) and 1992's Porco Rosso (Jan. 19 at 9:30 p.m.). He also wrote animated films for other directors at Studio Ghibli, including Whisper of the Heart (Jan. 19 at 11:15 p.m.).
Miyazaki-san reached new heights in 1997, when his epic Princess Mononoke (Jan. 5 at 10:15 p.m.) earned more money at the Japanese box office than any film in history. The film subsequently received a wide release in the United States.
In 2002, Miyazaki-san wrote and directed Spirited Away, which went on to become the first animated film ever to win the prestigious Golden Bear award at the 52nd Berlin International Film Festival. After being brought to the United States for wide release, with John Lasseter directing the new English-language track, Spirited Away became the first (and so far only) non-American movie to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
In addition to serving as writer and director, Miyazaki-san has also executive-produced films for Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahita-san, including 1991's Only Yesterday (Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.) and 1994's Pom Poko (Jan. 26 at 10:15 p.m.).

Miyazaki-san's most recent film, Howl's Moving Castle, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2004 and went on to become a huge box office hit in Japan. It was released in the United States this past summer, with Lasseter serving as executive producer. Miyazaki-san has claimed it will be his last film as writer-director.
John Lasseter is executive vice president, creative, and a founding member of Pixar Animation Studios. The two-time Academy Award®-winning director oversees all of Pixar's films and associated projects. He directed the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2. Additionally, he executive-produced Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and Pixar's latest release, The Incredibles. Lasseter has returned to the director's chair with the animated feature film Cars, set for release next summer. In 2004, he was honored by the Art Directors Guild with its prestigious Outstanding Contribution To Cinematic Imagery award, and received an honorary degree from the American Film Institute.
Under Lasseter's supervision, Pixar's animated feature and short films have received a multitude of critical accolades and film industry honors. He received a Special Achievement Oscar in 1995 for his inspired leadership of the Toy Story team. His work on Toy Story also resulted in an Academy Award®nomination for Best Original Screenplay, the first time an animated feature had been recognized in that category. Finding Nemo, released spring 2003, won the Oscar® for Best Animated Feature. As creative director of Pixar, Lasseter enjoyed the critical acclaim and box office success of The Incredibles in 2004. He also has written, directed and animated a number of renowned short films and television commercials for Pixar, including Luxo Jr. (1986 Academy Award® nominee); Red's Dream (1987); Tin Toy (1988 Academy Award® winner); and Knickknack (1989), which was produced as a 3D stereoscopic film. Pixar's Tin Toy became the first computer-animated film to win an Oscar when it received the award for Best Animated Short Film.
Prior to the formation of Pixar in 1986, Lasseter was a member of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm Ltd., where he designed and animated the computer-generated Stained Glass Knight character in the 1985 Steven Spielberg-produced film Young Sherlock Holmes. He attended the inaugural year of the Character Animation program at California Institute of the Arts and received his B.F.A. in film there in 1979. While attending the California Institute of the Arts, Lasseter produced two animated films, both winners of the Student Academy Award® for Animation: Lady and the Lamp in 1979 and Nitemare in 1980. His very first award came at the age of five when he won $15 from the Model Grocery Market in Whittier, Calif., for a crayon drawing of the Headless Horseman.
The following is a complete schedule for TCM's January spotlight on Hayao Miyazaki, featuring introductions by John Lasseter:
Thursday, Jan. 5
8 p.m. Spirited Away (2002 – English-language version) – This wondrous fantasy tells the story of Chihiro, a lonely young girl trapped in a strange world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious and frightening transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world. Voices for the English-language track, directed by John Lasseter, include Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Suzanne Pleshette, Michael Chiklis, Lauren Holly and John Ratzenberger.
10:15 p.m. Princess Mononoke (1997 – English-language version) – Inflicted with a deadly curse, a young warrior named Ashitaka sets out to the westward forests in search of a cure that will save his life. Once there, he becomes inextricably entangled in a bitter battle that matches a proud clan of industrious humans against the forest's animal gods, led by the brave Princess Mononoke. At the time of its release, this stirring adventure earned more money at the Japanese box office than any other movie in history. The English-language track features the voices of Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Jada Pinkett Smith and Billy Bob Thornton.
1 a.m. Spirited Away (2002 – Japanese-language version)
3:15 a.m. Princess Mononoke (1997 – Japanese-language version)

Thursday, Jan. 12
8 p.m. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984 – English-language version) – A thousand years after a global war, a seaside kingdom remains one of the few areas still populated. But the people are engaged in a constant struggle with powerful insects who guard a poisonous jungle that is rapidly spreading across the earth.
10 p.m. Castle in the Sky (1986 – English-language version) – This high-flying journey begins when a young mining apprentice finds a girl wearing a glowing pendant. Together they discover they are both searching for the legendary floating castle Laputa. Standing in their way, however, are air pirates and secret agents.
12:15 a.m. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984 – Japanese-language version)
2:15 a.m. Castle in the Sky (1986 – Japanese-language version)

Thursday, Jan. 19
8 p.m. My Neighbor Totoro (1988 – English-language version) – Two young girls living in rural Japan find befriend Totoro, a giant furry forest spirit, in this gentle and infectious adventure. This was the first Miyazaki film to receive a wide release in the United States.
9:30 p.m. Porco Rosso (1992 – English-language version) – Porco Rossa is a valiant World War I flying ace whose face has been transformed into that of a pig by a mysterious spell. After he infiltrates a band of sky pirates with his aerial heroics, the pirates hire a rival pilot to get rid of him, who also just happens to be Porco's rival for the affections of the beautiful Gina.
11:15 p.m. Whisper of the Heart (1995 – English-language version) – Miyazaki-san wrote this tale of a young girl who finds that every book she checks out from the library has also been checked out by a mysterious boy. Whisper of the Heart was directed by Yoshifumo Kondo, who served as animator on Princess Mononoke.
1:15 a.m. My Neighbor Totoro (1988 – Japanese-language version)
2:45 a.m. Porco Rosso (1992 – Japanese-language version)
4:30 a.m. Whisper of the Heart (1995 – Japanese-language version)

Thursday, Jan. 26
8 p.m. Only Yesterday* (1991 – Japanese-language version only) – Isao Takahata directed and Miyazaki-san executive-produced this tale of a woman who travels the Japanese countryside reminiscing about her childhood.
10:15 p.m. Pom Poko (1994 – English-language version) – This tale from director Isao Takahta and executive-produced by Miyazaki-san tells the story of a colony of raccoons who are being forced from their homes by local development. As it becomes harder to find food and shelter, they decide to band together and fight back. They practice and perfect the ancient art of transformation until they are able to appear human.
12:30 a.m. Only Yesterday* (1991 – Japanese-language version)
2:45 a.m. Pom Poko (1994 – Japanese-language version)

Turner Classic Movies, currently seen in more than 70 million homes, is a 24-hour cable network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company. Since its launch in 1994, TCM has presented the greatest motion pictures of all time from the largest film library in the world, the combined Time Warner and Turner film libraries, from the '20s through the '80s, commercial-free and without interruption. More information is available at the TCM website at www.turnerclassicmovies.com.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

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