Guillermo Del Toro Calls Hayao Miyazaki the Mozart of His Time: ‘He Has Changed the Medium’

Guillermo del Toro The Boy and the Heron Hayao Miyazaki
Guillermo del Toro attends "The Boy and the Heron" premiere during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 07, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Guillermo del Toro believes Hayao Miyazaki to be the Mozart of his time.

Per Deadline, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro made a surprise appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival to introduce Miyazaki’s latest film, The Boy and the Heron.

“Animation is film, and tonight’s film goes beyond that. Animation is hard,” del Toro began.

He went on to praise Miyazaki, saying, “We are privileged enough to be living in a time where Mozart is composing symphonies. Miyazaki san is a master of that stature, and we are so lucky to be here…He has changed the medium that he started in, revolutionized it, proved over and over again that is a tremendous work of art.”

Del Toro went on to call Miyazaki “the greatest director of animation ever,” in his estimation, noting how “he has made his films as full as dialogues and questions as he is. These are not easy films, but these are films that portray him so intimately, that you feel you’re having a conversation with him.”

Hayao Miyazaki: From Lupin III to The Boy and the Heron

Miyazaki’s career began in 1963 working for Toei Animation as an artist, animator, and scene designer. He directed his first feature-length animated film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, in 1979, before he went on to co-found Studio Ghibli in 1985.

For Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki directed 1986’s Castle in the Sky, 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro, 1989’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1992’s Porco Rosso, 1997’s Princess Mononoke, 2001’s Spirited Away, 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle, 2008’s Ponyo, and 2013’s The Wind Rises. He also wrote 1995’s Whisper of the Heart, 2010’s The Secret World of Arrietty, and 2011’s From Up on Poppy Hill.

Miyazaki’s latest, The Boy and the Heron, began playing in Japan in July 2023. The film will begin playing in the United States for special preview engagements on November 22, 2023, before going wide on December 8, 2023.

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