Happy Birthday! Hayao Miyazaki Turns 75 Today

(Photo: Studio Ghibli)

Happy birthday, Hayao Miyazaki! The artist and creator is celebrating his 75th birthday today.

Miyazaki is the legendary founder of Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli, and the director of many of its most popular and iconic films.

The breakout film for Miyazaki in the west was Princess Mononoke, a fantasy film that displayed some of Miyazaki's most persistent themes, most notably his pacifist and environmentalist leanings. He followed Princess Mononoke up with perhaps his most popular film, Spirited Away, about a young girl who becomes lost and finds herself working at a bathhouse for spirits.

His earlier works include the Lupin III film The Castle of Cogliostro, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which was an adaption of his own manga of the same name. Other highlights of his directing career include Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo.

Miyazaki retired in 2013, following the release of his latest film, The Wind Rises. Miyazaki's influence in animation cannot not be overstated, and he is considered by many to be the Walt Disney of Japan.


Miyazaki was born on January 5, 1941, in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan.

Happy birthday, Hayao Miyazaki!