Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, responsible for such animation classics as “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro,” recently came out of retirement for a new short film entitled “Boro the Caterpillar” and an untitled feature film. Before audiences around the world see new work from the legendary filmmaker, they can watch him articulate his principles regarding animation. In a widely-circulated clip from NHK’s documentary series “NHK Special: Hayao Miyazaki — The One Who Never Ends,” Miyazaki lays down his opinions on AI animation, i.e. animation created by artificial intelligence. Watch the clip below.
After seeing a brief demo of a grotesque zombie-esque creature, Miyazaki pauses and says that it reminds him of a friend of his with a disability so severe he can’t even high five. “Thinking of him, I can’t watch this stuff and find [it] interesting. Whoever creates this stuff has no idea what pain is whatsoever. I am utterly disgusted. If you really want to make creepy stuff, you can go ahead and do it. I would never wish to incorporate this technology into my work at all. I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself.”
Near the end of the clip, after hearing that the animators’ goal is to create a machine that “draws pictures like humans do,” Miyazaki’s comments are even more grim. “I feel like we are nearing to the end of the times. We humans are losing faith in ourselves…”
Miyazaki’s “Boro the Caterpillar” will premiere at the Studio Ghibli museum in Mitaka, Tokyo by June or July 2017.