9 October 2013
Dear Hayao Miyazaki,
I have been wanting to write this to you for some time because your films have been influential in my life, just as they have been for my friends and family.
Specifically, I want thank you for Princess Mononoke -- your movie is what made me want to go to graduate school to study film. Previous to watching it, I was quite burned out with university work and I could not see myself returning to the classroom even though I loved studying literature as an undergraduate.
But it was the way that Princess Mononoke captivated, its purity of characterization, its strong female protagonists, its beauty, and most importantly its ambiguity that fascinated me unlike any animation I had seen before -- and even while watching it I knew that I wanted to go back to school so that I could study and write about it.
Ironically, I ended up writing about Fight Club (Fincher, 1999) instead of Princess Mononoke for my MA degree, and even since then I have yet to write an article about your film which means so much to me. But I have had a chance to teach Princess Mononoke in one of my World Cinema classes -- of course my students loved it.
And at home, I am happy to say, my children are growing up primarily watching your films instead of Disney films (I know Disney distributes your films here in the U.S., but it's not the same thing).