Art/Design, Entertainment

The Hayao Miyazaki retrospective is finally open

Fully enchanted.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Oct 31, 2021

We are so excited to announce that the Hayao Miyazaki retrospective is officially open.



Who, what, where, when, how?

The retrospective has opened in Los Angeles at The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The exhibition of Hayao Miyazaki’s work explores the techniques behind the studio’s most renowned films, from My Neighbor Totoro to Howl’s Moving Castle, and many more.


This exhibition show also happens to commemorate the Academy Museum’s grand opening (also known as the organization behind the Oscars). It includes nearly 300 artifacts and elements from the director Hayao Miyazaki’s career, including hand-drawn storyboards, character designs, posters, and film clips. This was all created in partnership with Studio Ghibli.


Many of the artifacts and items on display have never been seen outside of Japan before. The retrospective also includes Ghibli-themed installations, such as the mystical tree tunnel depicted in My Neighbor Totoro. The visitors are able to actually go through the tunnel, making it possible to experience Miyazaki’s enchanting world.


As in Kiki’s Delivery Service, there’s also a grassy knoll where visitors are invited to lie down and gaze up at a round screen projecting a video of clouds drifting by. Another tree tunnel leads to the rest of the Academy Museum in the exhibition’s last part. Visitors can hear Chihiro’s footsteps as she departs the realm of Spirited Away and returns to the real world. The “two-faced Stone Spirit” stood in front of the final doorway, wishing her luck on her journey. To be honest, this sounds like an absolute treat and for longtime fans such as myself, comes as close as the movies do to taking you out of reality and into the enchanted world of Studio Ghibli.



Jacqueline Stewart, the Academy Museum’s chief artistic and programming officer said of Miyazaki:

“He’s a cinematic master. Miyazaki is an international filmmaker. We wanted to highlight somebody who really had global appeal and global impact. And one of the things that’s really unique about his work, too, is that it actually does appeal to young people and older generations with equal passion and vision.”


The curator behind the Miyazaki exhibition, Jessica Niebel, also explained how she worked with the filmmaker at Studio Ghibli and the Ghibli Museum in Japan to gather all the materials making the exhibition and comprehensive and authentic as possible. She shared:

“Miyazaki conveys the nuance behind his protagonist’s intentions, and invites viewers to recognize the contradictions of human nature: to act responsibly, show respect and humility, and coexist with the environment.”


Read more on Studio Ghibli’s historic Spirited Away being turned into a play.


Photo via Joshua White, JW Pictures/©Academy Museum FoundationHayao Miyazaki, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures