Gorō Miyazaki (宮崎 吾朗, Miyazaki Gorō, born January 21, 1967) is a Japanese landscape designer and film director of Studio Ghibli. He is also the managing director of the Foundation Tokuma Memorial Cultural Foundation for Animation.
He is the son of lauded animator Hayao Miyazaki, who is one of the co-founders of the renowned animation company Studio Ghibli. Described as "reluctant" to follow his father's career, Gorō initially worked as the CEO of Ghibli subsidiaries Museo Darte Ghibli, President of Mamma Auito Group and Nibariki, and a landscaper for many years before entering the film business.
Gorō Miyazaki was born in 1967 and is the eldest son to animators Hayao Miyazaki and Akemi Ōta in Tokyo, Japan. His family then settled in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture in 1970. While growing up, Gorō and his younger brother Keisuke found sketches of their parents' work. He would also become a fan of artistic duo Fujiko Fujio's manga Doraemon. Since his father was rarely at home, Gorō resorted to studying his parent's animation projects in order to understand and communicate with him. He would often speak with Mamoru Oshii, who is a close family friend.
As a high school student, Gorō thought that he "would never be able to reach the level [his father] has attained." Gorō instead decided to pursue landscape architecture as he became interested in the nature conservation. His decision to study at Shinshu University was due to its proximity to the mountains, which reminded him of his time in high school. After graduating from Shinshu University's School of Agriculture, Gorō later worked at Mori Building Co., Japan's leading urban landscape developer, as a construction consultant in the planning and designing of children parks such as Okaya Kohan Park and general parks and landscape design of industrial parks.
Gorō was later invited by Toshio Suzuki to help design Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. Inspired by his father's plan he answered, "I'll do it", and promptly retired from Mori. In 1998, he became the representative director of Museo Darte Ghibli Co., the operating company behind the Ghibli Museum. He served as its director from 2001 to June 2005. In October 2001, he became the first president of Mamma Auito Co., and received the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Newcomer Award in the Art Promotion Division at the 2004 Art Awards.
Miyazaki's first film was Tales from Earthsea, an adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea book series. Written by Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, the film stars Junichi Okada, Bunta Sugawara and Aoi Teshima. Originally joining the animation project as a consultant, Miyazaki was asked to draw the storyboards. After viewing his storyboards, producer Toshio Suzuki decided Miyazaki should direct the film.
The move to direct the film caused friction between Gorō and his father, who felt his son did not have the experience to direct a film; the two were said not to have spoken throughout the movie's development. Despite this, Gorō Miyazaki was determined to complete the project.
On June 28, 2006, Gorō held the first preview of the completed Tales from Earthsea, which was attended by his father. Hayao was seen to have "accepted Gorō" and after, delivered to his son a message, saying the film "...was made honestly. It was good." The film was released on July 29, 2006, to positive reviews, but received mixed reviews when comparing to the other Ghibli movies, and grossed $68 million worldwide. However, Miyazaki was presented Japan's Bunshun Raspberry Award for "Worst Director", with Tales from Earthsea receiving the award for "Worst Movie", at the end of 2006. The film was nominated in 2007 for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year (losing to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) and was selected in the Out of Competition section at the 63rd Venice Film Festival.
In 2011, Miyazaki directed From Up on Poppy Hill, which is based on Chizuru Takahashi and Tetsurō Sayama's 1980 manga Kokurikozaka kara. The adaptation was written by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa and the film stars Masami Nagasawa, Keiko Takeshita. Yuriko Ishida, Jun Fubuki, Takashi Naito, Shunsuke Kazama, Nao Omori and Teruyuki Kagawa. Miyazaki also voiced the world history teacher character and wrote lyrics to some of the songs used in the film. From Up on Poppy Hill was released on July 16, 2011, in Japan, to positive reviews. The film won the 2012 Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.
On January 31, 2014, it was announced that Gorō Miyazaki would direct his first anime television series, Ronja, the Robber's Daughter, an adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's Ronia, the Robber's Daughter for NHK. The series is computer-animated, produced by Polygon Pictures, and co-produced by Studio Ghibli. The show ran for one season, from 2014 to 2015, with a total of 26 episodes.
In May 2020, Toshio Suzuki confirmed that a new film from Gorō Miyazaki is in development at Studio Ghibli. On June 3, 2020, Studio Ghibli announced that the film would be an adaptation of the novel Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones. The film was announced as the first full 3D CG animated Ghibli film and slated for a television premiere on NHK in Winter of 2020, under the title Earwig and the Witch (アーヤと魔女, Āya to Majo).
- "Goro Miyazaki sets his own path in animation", Los Angeles Times (2013)
- Weekly Bunshun 2011, pp. 130-131
- Weekly Bunshun 2011, pp. 132
- Ghibli Museum Info, (Archived 2013)
- "Newcomer Award for the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology", Agency of Cultural Affairs
- Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Prologue), Nausicaa.net
- "Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Prologue)", Nausicaa.net
- "Earthsea Wins "Raspberry Award", Anime News Network
- "Ghibli's From Up On Poppy Hill Wins Japan Academy Prize", Anime News Network
- "Studio Ghibli’s first TV show, Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, lacks any real magic", Polygon
- "Studio Ghibli co-founder teases Hayao Miyazaki's next 'big, fantastical' film", Entertainment Weekly