ＣＧ嫌いで知られた宮崎氏が世代のかけ離れた若者等と悪戦苦闘する様が生々しく描かれています。思う様にいかない焦燥感、若年層への苛立ち、そしてＣＧ世代のアニメーターが宮崎氏の厳しい要求に憔悴しきった様子も見てとれます。しかし、Los Angeles Timesの映画評論家Kenneth Turan氏は、この世代を超えたコラボ、巨匠と若手が馴染みのない領域へ踏み込みつつ新しい世界を創造する過程が本ドキュメンタリーの核心であると指摘します。
A documentary on the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, titled 'Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki,' was released on December 13 and 18 through select theaters in the US. Miyazaki announced a sudden yet rumored retirement in 2013 which shocked the world. The documentary shows his interviews over two years of post-retirement. Miyazaki, became aware of his own renewed strength for more animation production, came out of retirement last year, and has already announced his new film, “How Do You Live?”
Miyazaki, one of the greatest animators ever lived who led the world to the animation boom with the masterpieces like “My Neighbor Totoro” and the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away,” reappeared on screen in the Japan’s NHK documentary “Never-Ending Man” through the US distributor GKIDS. Coincidentally, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has just announced about the exhibit about his work next year.
“I’m a retired old geezer, a pensioner,” shrugs Miyazaki, whose passion as an animator has indeed been kept alive. At the hand of his longtime friend and producer Toshio Suzuki, he decided to return and create a short film titled “Boro the Caterpillar” with young CGI animators. The documentary captures Miyazaki’s struggles in working with younger generations, the changed animation techniques, as well as the exhausted faces of the CGI animators by the stern and unbending requirements made by the old producer. ‘This intergenerational coexistence,’ film critic for Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan writes, ‘is the heart of “Never-Ending Man,” as both extremes of the age continuum venture out of their comfort zones to make this collaboration work.’
His upcoming film is a fantasy adventure based on the book of the same title, written by Genzaburo Yoshino, a children’s book author, a critic, a translator and an activist. A comic version has also been published and has become this year’s bestseller. The original story takes place in 1937 Tokyo, with the main characters Koperu and his uncle. According to producer Suzuki, it will take three to four more years for its completion. Miyazaki, now 77, seems to have found his renewed energy that will last till the end.