At an event held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Japanese author Rieko Nakagawa’s worldwide best seller Guri to Gura (or Guri and Gura in English), friend and fellow artist Hayao Miyazaki has gone on record to say that – unlike in many of the animated features he has created to date – children do not simply head out on adventures and come back smarter and more mature, calling the idea “a lie”.
In a speech made before some 800 attendees, the beloved animator commended Nakagawa on her work, which is predominantly aimed at young children, and expressed his joy at being one of her peers. In doing so, he shared his thoughts on children and their journey into maturity.
▼ Rieko Nakagawa’s classic children’s book Guri and Gura
“[The idea that] children go out on an adventure then come home wise and grown-up is a lie. I feel blessed to have worked during the same era as Ms. Nakagawa, whose work has shown that kids’ maturation is not so simple,” Miyazaki commented.
While we have no doubt that Miyazaki is under no illusions that his own work represents real life or should be taken literally, we’re sure that many of his fans will be saddened by his surprisingly down-to-earth words and to learn that even the creator of works such as Spirited Away, whose protagonist Chihiro transforms from a cowardly brat into a brave and considerate daughter through her own struggles and hardships, feels that the idea really is nought but fiction.
Oh, Mr. Miyazaki, we thought you were an animating wizard who lives in a house made of clouds and liquorice! At least let us pretend that real magic exists!