Photo of Hayao Miyazaki Hayao Miyazaki

One of Japan's most highly regarded anime directors, Hayao Miyazaki was born Jan. 5, 1941, in Tokyo. While in high school, he attended a viewing of Hakuja Den -- the first feature-length anime film -- and became instantly hooked on the form.

After attending Gakushuin University, Miyazaki went to work as a junior-level animator on children's cartoons. In 1979, he helmed his first feature, Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro, quickly establishing himself as a director of beautifully drawn, morally ambiguous tales that often highlight the tension between man and nature.

Although Miyazaki's films found critical and box office success in Japan, it wasn't until Miramax's release of his 1997 effort Princess Mononoke that he became widely known to U.S. audiences. In 2003, his Spirited Away won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and in 2006 Miyazaki was nominated for Howl's Moving Castle.

Hayao Miyazaki in My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro

1988 G

Legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki provides a stunningly realistic portrayal of life in the country. When their mother is hospitalized, two young sisters spend a summer in the Japanese countryside with their father. The strange new environment turns out to be a natural wonderland filled with exotic real-life creatures and a trio of furry woodland sprites who can only be seen by children.

  • Hayao Miyazaki in The Wind Rises The Wind Rises
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Howl's Moving Castle Howl's Moving Castle
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Spirited Away Spirited Away
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Princess Mononoke Princess Mononoke
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Castle in the Sky Castle in the Sky
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Ponyo Ponyo
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Porco Rosso Porco Rosso
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Kiki's Delivery Service Kiki's Delivery Service
  • Hayao Miyazaki in Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro
  • Hayao Miyazaki in The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
  • Hayao Miyazaki in The Cat Returns: Bonus Material The Cat Returns: Bonus Material