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Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki                                 review by Bobby Blakey

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There is no doubt that one of the biggest animated filmmakers is Hayao Miyazaki director of films such as Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Wind Rises and more. Now Shout Factory is bringing the documentary Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki home for fans to get a sneak at the man behind the magic.

In 2013, Academy Award®-winning film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72. But he can’t shake his burning desire to create. After an encounter with young CGI animators, Miyazaki embarks on a new project to utilize CGI for the first time ever. But the artist, who has been adamant about hand-drawn animation, confronts many challenges that threaten to cancel the film. Can an old master who thinks he’s past his prime shine once again? This program goes behind the scenes over two years as Miyazaki overcomes struggles to create his short film Boro the Caterpillar using CGI.

As not only a fan of his work, but an artist myself I was highly interested in getting to learn more about Miyazaki. I found it all the more interesting as the journey is more about what comes next for after retirement, which is the willingness to leave the past behind and try out new technology in animation. While nowhere near in the league of this master of art and animation I’ve found myself in a similar struggle to step away from paper and into the digital age. Watching him not only struggle to understand but also deal with the limitations of his age is both heartbreaking and inspiring to what he can do and does.

If I have any issue with the film as a whole it was the lack of any real ending, but that is kind of part of the point since he is not finished yet.I was hoping to get to see the finished product of Boro as well as more into his next project, but instead it keeps it under wraps and just focuses on the man. I get this and totally understand that was the point of the story and not the animation itself, but as a fan how could I not want to see it.

This is a great documentary about a master storyteller that will no doubt be a must have for fans. Grab your copy of Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Shout Factory.

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