Oscars Museum Curator Explains Why Hayao Miyazaki Was Chosen for First Exhibition

The curator behind the Academy Awards' new museum has explained why Hayao Miyazaki was chosen for the first temporary exhibition! The Academy of Motion Pictures not only surprised with the announcement of a new museum showing off different works, but had been delayed opening due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It's been a rough time for fans, however, as the very first temporary exhibition for this new museum will be focusing on the works of Hayao Miyazaki during his time at Studio Ghibli and more. During the panel for the exhibit as part of Anime Expo Life earlier this year, the curators behind the exhibit revealed why Miyazaki was chosen as the first exhibit.

Academy Museum Exhibitions Curator Jessica Niebel was asked about why Miyazaki was selected as the inaugural exhibition during the panel for the museum at Anime Expo Lite and explained that Miyazaki "checked all the boxes" they were looking for when it came to kicking off this new endeavor. "There are so many reasons I can't even count them. First of all, he's an amazing filmmaker. He's an international filmmaker, and we are an international film museum so we want to look at global filmmaking. He was a good choice for us," Niebel began.

Princess Mononoke Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki
(Photo: Studio Ghibli)

Elaborating further, Niebel continued to explain how Studio Ghibli had helped she and Assistant Curator J. Raúl Guzmán put it all together, "[N]o one had ever done this show, this exhibition, first off, in North America. We're really proud, really happy, and feel blessed that Studio Ghibli agreed to do it with us and develop it with us. So [J. Raúl Guzmán and I] have developed a very close relationship with them and have, of course, learned so much from them." But Ghibli also worked out for a more practical reason.

"They're also the sole lender of this exhibition, which is great. We have access to the materials," Niebel continued. "That's another important question when you put together a film exhibition. What do you have to show? Do you have materials to show? And especially with animation, I think it's wonderful how you can show the drawings that were actually used to shoot the film. So that's quite amazing, that's wonderful material to display." It also opened the museum up to multiple audiences.

"Hayao Miyazaki kind of checked all the boxes, and we're really excited because his films really do appeal to an international audience," Niebel noted. "And also to an audience of all ages. So we're addressing, hopefully, the broadest possible audience with this show." By the sounds of things, there was a lot of work put into how to kick off this museum in the broadest way possible while still honoring the core filmmaking prowess the Academy Awards wants to honor.

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The special Hayao Miyazaki exhibition will be opening as part of the Academy Awards Museum on September 30th, but will you be interested in checking it out before it's all gone? Let us know all of your thoughts about it in the comments! You can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!