INTERVIEWS - Hayao Miyazaki on Ponyo - Part 2 of 3

Q: In this particular case, this work, I think, has the emphasis of a film for Europeans, it seems to be directed towards being enjoyed by Europeans...

Miyazaki: I think this is odd because when a person pays money to see a movie, whether they like it or not, these are the free impressions of that person that goes to a movie, and I don't think I thought of any particular target audience.

Q: I'd like to ask whether you changed your approach, your way of thinking, with this film because it's a film for children on several different levels. To achieve your target of very young people did you have to change your approach in your translation of images to be able to touch the younger audience? And this mix of Japanese culture and European culture, which is something you already have as part of your culture. to what extent did this mix come spontaneously and to what extent did you do it deliberately to mix the two cultures?

Miyazaki: Well personally, in my staff many people have had children recently and seeing these children and watching them from birth… I thought of a film for them. And that was the spur to make this movie obviously I don't have children always around me but i thought that i would be a very good thing to make this sort of film.

With regard to the relationship between East and West Asia and Europe. In japan we say that opposites attract it's a proverb and therefor there are elements which take on a sort of metamorphosis when things blend and meld together. And in this unfolding of a mixture, an interweave, we see this perhaps in the film and I think that is why it appeals to anybody in the world.

Q: You said you're going to work with a younger generation on your next project. Is is true that one of them will be the Oscar winner Michael Dudok de Wit who you'll be cooperating with for your next feature project?

Miyazaki: Well, could you repeat the question? (question repeated) Well, I will continue to work with my current staff, however I am of the idea that the time is now ripe for me to work with younger staff as well. I will not stop working with my current staff, but I will add younger people.

Q: I have dealt with the dubbing of many films of Mr. Miyazaki and I 'd like to thank him. Have you seen the painting of the death of Ophelia? Were you inspired by this painting and what did you like so much about this painting?

M: We have done animation for about forty years now and therefor we have certainly gone back to the 19th century and we have reached a peak, if you like, and we thought that beyond this there was no further road ahead, however there is the possibility of taking a different tact, but by looking at works of the past, certainly you understand their greatness.

Q: Have you seen The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo? Did you like these films? Have they influenced or inspired you in any way?

M: Okay, when I was nine we saw the little mermaid and so it's part of our culture and there was something, at the time, that I didn't really like when I saw this because mermaids weren't supposed to have a soul - whereas human beings did. So I wasn't really satisfied with that little mermaid and so I decided to make this movie as a consequence.

Q for Toshio Suzuki: As you always work with Miyazaki as a friend and also as a professional I'd like to talk about what you did two years ago which is now in the museum. Could you talk about this experience and did you take elements of this and insert it in Ponyo?

T: Gibli Studios has an art gallery and Miyazaki made six short movies for it, and of these, there are three shorts that have become prime movers for us. One is on the theme of the sea, it's a short which is called "Monmon the Water Spider". And then there is another which is called "Seeking Home", I can't quite remember what it is about, but it is the story of someone who goes around seeking home, which of course enriches the works of Miyazaki.