He's a master of animation who's spent the better half of his life creating timeless classics for adults and kids alike, but there's another major title you don't often hear attached to Hayao Miyazaki. And that's "dad."
As it turns out, Miyazaki's son Goro became a fledging animation director himself with his debut film Tales from Earthsea. Though it was made by Studio Ghibli (Miyazaki's powerhouse that gave us such classics as Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle), Miyazaki's reaction to the film was far from fatherly love.
Kotaku has drawn attention to screenshots from the documentary How Ponyo Was Born that are making the rounds on the Internet in Japan, and they reveal Miyakazi's honest reaction to seeing his son's directorial debut. One thing's for sure: Every family has entertaining dynamics.
It's not easy to impress a master of animation
When Miyazaki sat down for the viewing of Tales from Earthsea, he was visibly bored and fidgety from the get-go. The documentary's narrator acknowledges that since Goro came from a landscaping background and not animation, he didn't consider him a director.
Only an hour into the movie, Miyazaki flees the theater
While enjoying a cigarette, he makes a less than encouraging admission:
It feels like I was sitting there for about three hours.
After watching the rest, he gave his thoughts
He wasn't exactly impressed:
I saw my own child. He hasn’t become an adult. That’s all.
After a quick moment of contemplation, he says:
It’s good that he made one movie. With that, he should stop [making movies].
Probably not the encouragement Goro was looking for.
But, in the end, the acclaimed director offered praise in the most Miyazaki way possible
In an online blog post, Goro recounted a story where his father approached him to give his thoughts. And this time, they were much more uplifting. From his account:
And then, in the middle of the party, the colour designer Ms Yasuda relayed a message from Hayao Miyazaki.
"It was made honestly, so it was good".
These few words brought tears to my eyes.
So, it may have taken a bit, but this story does have a happy ending. Actually, just like Miyazaki's films, it kinda leaves you thinking about all your expectations in the first place, which is even better.