The Energy of Sound: Why a Hayao Miyazaki Movie Feels Alive

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Meg Shields

Might 26, 2020Here is a video essay explaining how Miyazaki movies use sound to convey animation to life.
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In relation to bringing animation to life, the best way a movie “seems” is simply a part of the equation. There is no such thing as a higher instance of this precept than the work of animator and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. His movies simply really feel completely different, and you may sense this once you’re watching certainly one of them: there’s a depth, a contagious empathy, a persistent sense of journey. That unmistakable “Miyazaki really feel” has a liveliness to it, a vibrancy that brings collectively all of the disparate components we all know and love about him as a filmmaker.
“Hayao Miyazaki – How Animation Involves Life,” a video essay from kaptainkristian, explains how sound design defines Miyazaki’s worlds and makes them come alive. Every of Miyazaki’s movies has a novel sound id, from the violent cacophony of Princess Mononoke to the arid howls of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Sound design is rarely an afterthought or a requirement. It’s a vital a part of constructing a world and telling a narrative.
The video essay additionally helpfully illustrates how localization can rob international viewers of the feel of Miyazaki’s soundscapes, the depth that makes these worlds really feel huge, crunchy, dimensional, and alive. There’s an inclination in Western animation to jettison sound design in favor of wall-to-wall scores that shun silence and masks lifeless backgrounds. In distinction, the work of Miyazaki (which incorporates the work of a military of unsung sound engineers, foley artists, and background painters) honors the storytelling potential of sound.
You’ll be able to watch “Hayao Miyazaki – How Animation Involves Life” right here:

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Who made this?
Kaptainkristian is a YouTube-based video essay channel that peddles in visible love letters to filmmakers, musicians, and syndicated cartoons. The account is run by Kristian T. Williams, whom you may comply with on Twitter right here. You’ll be able to subscribe to kaptainkristian, and take a look at their again catalog on YouTube right here.
Extra Movies Like This

The Royal Ocean Movie Society (a favourite of this column) on Hayao Miyazaki’s Airships.
Asher Isbrucker’s essay on the immersive realism of Miyazaki’s worldbuilding seems like a pitch-perfect companion piece to kaptainkristian’s essay.
How Ghibli movies use fantasy to deal with trauma.
Kaptainkristian on how the Fleischer brothers pushed the boundaries of animation to create the definitive Superman.
An annotated montage from Zach Prewitt on how Miyazaki animates his love of flying machines.
Not a video essay, however a terrifically enjoyable diversion nonetheless: Each Studio Ghibli Movie Reviewed in 10 Phrases or Much less!

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