Hayao Miyazaki, animator and director for films including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and My Neighbor Totoro, is not just a wise old man. He’s a crazy wise old man! Not in a super serious way or anything, just in that charming, old-fashioned “technology is ruining everything I remember back in the day mumble mumble mumble” adorable way.
In the July issue of Studio Ghibli’s monthly pamphlet “Neppuu,” Miyazaki had some choice words for the iPad. Now, of course nobody expected him to actually have an iPad. Those in the Miyazaki!know are already aware that he has no computer, fax, or DVD player and writes letters when he needs to communicate with someone, and he rarely watches television. So obviously he’s not an iPad groupie, but boy did he go a step beyond.
Miyazaki called the iPad a ”game machine-type thing,” and was perturbed by the method of use, which he preliminarily called “stroking with strange gestures.” He got more angry and graphic, though, later in the interview: ”For me, there is no feeling of admiration or no excitement whatsoever. It’s disgusting. On trains, the number of those people doing that strange masturbation-like gesture is multiplying.”
It may seem odd that Miyazaki’s animation company would be developing a video game for the DS and PS3 given his feelings on technology (especially when a touch screen is involved). But apparently Miyazaki is completely uninvolved in the project, and will almost certainly never play the games even when they’re completed and shipped out.
But while Miyazaki might have a minor case of grumpy old man syndrome, he’s still one of the greatest animators and animation directors the world has ever known. For years and years to come, people will be watching his work on iPads and the masturbatory gadgets of the future. May they involve much stroking and many strange gestures.