before Hayao Miyazaki, this director had to direct Howl’s Moving Castle before quitting

The Howl’s Moving Castle is one of the major works of maestro Hayao Miyazaki, along with Princess Mononoke Where Spirited away. However, it was not he who, originally, was to be at the helm of the film released in 2004.

The Howl’s Moving CastleHayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece

The ninth realization ofHayao Miyazaki, The Howl’s Moving Castle, was released in 2004, and follows what are certainly the two best films by the Japanese filmmaker: Princess Mononoke in 1997, and Spirited away in 2001. A film that arrives when Miyazaki is at the top of his game. The challenge is therefore up.

However, the director still manages to surprise his world, with a coherent universe, and fluid animation. If the themes addressed in the film have already been seen before (war, transformation, love, mixture of fantasy and reality), the story is gripping, the characters endearing, and the landscapes splendid. However this masterpiece was originally to be directed by a talented young filmmaker: Mamoru Hosoda

Miyazaki’s successor

The Crossing of Time, Summer Wars, The Wolf Children, Ame & Yuki, The Boy and the Beast, Miraï, my little sister, all these successful Japanese animation films all belong to the same director: Mamoru Hosoda.

Considered the worthy successor of master Hayao Miyazaki, Mamoru Hosoda, 54, has gradually made a name for himself in the world of animation. A recognizable artistic touch mixing nature, poetry, relationship to time, and to the family, but also that to animals, the latter being omnipresent in his films (themes similar to those portrayed by Miyazaki). This is what partly explains his admiration for him and his emblematic studio: Studio Ghibli.

Tribute in one book

A talent demonstrated over time that was well worth a book. “All the art of Mamoru Hosoda“, released yesterday, June 17, pays tribute to the artist, through exclusive interviews, hundreds of never-before-seen images, preparatory sketches, storyboards, etc.. The book explains how Hosoda made his films, and takes the viewer behind the scenes.

The author is Charles Solomon, animation critic and historian. He is also the author of The Disney Princesses, stories and destinies of the greatest heroines, Beauty and the Beast, the eternal story of a masterpiece as well as Behind the scenes of Disney: Frozen.

an interesting and crucial anecdote in Hosoda’s career

Beyond the treatment of the director’s 8 films, the book raises an interesting anecdote about him, and which links him to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. In the early 2000s, the famous animation studio offered Hosoda to work on a major project: be the director of Howl’s Moving Castle. A boon for Hosoda admiring the studio. Unfortunately, relations with Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, do not go wellthe two founders of Ghibli do not seem to have the same artistic vision of the film as the young filmmaker.

Feeling limited in his choices, and restricted in the expression of his imagination and his sensibilityHosoda decides to slam the studio door to turn to Toei Animation, with which he had already been hired in 1991. He thus left the Howl’s Moving Castle in the hands of the maestro, for the result that we know.

Give up the Howl’s Moving Castle and going back to Toei was quite a painful experience. That a project which had received a green light could not succeed was for me a huge failure (…), but a part of me still wanted to make films. If a bus had knocked me down the next day, I would have had a hard time accepting death without having made at least one feature film”, he confides in All the art of Mamoru Hosoda.

Nevertheless, the 54-year-old Japanese director will recover from his failure, and later founded his own studio, Studio Chizu and will finally express his talent with films like The Wolf Children, Ame & Yuki (2012), The Boy and the Beast (2015), Miraï, my little sister therefore (2018)and lately the movie Beautiful (2021). Films hailed, named, and for some even awarded: Mirai, my little sister was appointed to the Oscar for best animated film 2019andThe Wolf Children received the Mainichi Award for Best Animated Feature. The fact remains that the filmmaker seems to have a hard tooth. Witness this tackle on Hayao Miyazaki who had created controversy.

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