Anime fans wish director Hayao Miyazaki a happy birthday

Remix by Keane Eacobellis

Fans of anime and film took to Twitter to send their well wishes to Hayao Miyazaki. The legendary animator, director, and Studio Ghibli co-founder turned 81 today. 

All the messages sent Miyazaki’s name trending on Twitter. Among the most popular tweets were messages wishing him a happy birthday from anime industry licensors and distributors like Crunchyroll, Toei, and GKIDS.

Nickelodeon Animation went the extra mile, celebrating the animator with a special illustration featuring iconic Nick characters as characters from the director’s own filmography. There are some cute and inventive nods in the illustration, like CatDogBus and a Garfield-looking Jiji. Appa, the flying sky bison from Avatar: The Last Airbender, is framed as Ghibli’s mascot, Totoro. 

Others, like comic artists Chris Samnee and Michael Walsh, made their own fan art. Samnee drew the titular Porco Rosso while Walsh’s illustration depicts Ashitaka and his red elk Yakul from Princess Mononoke.

Many also shared the director’s wisdom and humor in their favorite quotes. 

My favorite is the director speaking to his cat during the filming of a documentary. “Look how carefree she looks,” he says as the white cat lays across his table. “You have no schedule.” 

Miyazaki recently ushered in the New Year with an illustration of a tiger from the zodiac. 2022 looks to be a big year for the director, as his next and likely final film, How To Live, inches closer to release.