Miyazaki’s films have an underlying message of environmental understanding and awareness of spiritual elements that surround us in our world. Using animated films as a medium, he is able to convey this and society’s problems in an altered reality in which we all can relate to. I. Environmental consciousness
Environmentalism is an ideology regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly non human elements. Miyazaki conveys this idea of preservation through his film Spirited Away where non human elements such as rivers and trees are given life as spirits with bodies, although unusual in form, and personalities. These spirits then face obstacles which are almost always caused by humans. In the end, it is up to the human to fix this problem, but it is not without consequence. Much like the idea of environmentalism, this film doesn’t only teach of the consequences. It also gives us a better understanding of the elements and teaches us to coexist with the earth instead of just using it for what it’s worth. II. Industrialization
Of course, to begin the healing process, one must know the starting point of the corruption. Howl’s Moving Castle is one of Miyazaki’s films which really showcase the good and bad points of industrialization. One the one hand, there are all these amazing machines, like Howl’s home; a steam puffing, walking house on mechanized chicken legs, which is an extreme example. These machines have made life easier and better for the masses. The abilities of these newly invented machines amazes people, it’s almost like magic – which is, in theory, why Howl is portrayed as a magician. Then there are the cons, i.e. the Wicked Witch of the Waste. She symbolizes the gluttony brought upon simple people such as Sophie.
III. Shinto and postmodernism
In both films named above, Shinto influences are present. Shinto, the indigenous...