I found this article on Cartoon Brew. I have always enjoyed Miyazaki’s social commentaries in his movies, but his way of protesting the Iraq War was quite interesting. Also ,I knew Howl’s Moving Castle had that anti-war commentary attached to it, but I never thought it was a direct commentary of the Iraq War. I may need to re-watch it and do a retro-review…
Hayao Miyazaki didn’t come to the United States in 2003 to accept his Oscar forSpirited Away because of his opposition to the Iraq War, he recently told the LA Times:
“The reason I wasn’t here for the Academy Award was because I didn’t want to visit a country that was bombing Iraq. At the time, my producer shut me up and did not allow me to say that, but I don’t see him around today. By the way, my producer also shared in that feeling.”
Critic Daniel Thomas MacInnes offers some context to Miyazaki’s actions onThe Ghibli Blog:
It should be common knowledge to any serious Miyazaki scholar that he abhorred not only the Iraq War, but war itself. The idea of violence is depicted in his work as violent tragedy, slapstick mockery, or both…I don’t think very many Westerners know that the war in Howl’s Moving Castle was itself a reflection on the Iraq War. It was a comment on that war, viewed through the lens of Miyazaki’s long career.