Hayao Miyazaki Interpretations of Miyazaki films

groubrig posted on Nov 06, 2012 at 03:58AM
It's probably been said before, but I think Miyazaki's films have a lot of elements that can be interpreted in Freudian and Jungian concepts. Especially Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. While its obvious that there is a battle between man and nature, I think that Princess Mononoke can be seen as the interaction of the conscious and unconscious mind; The forest being the unconscious, full of drives, instincts, archaic remnants and repressed memories, and the town being the conscious mind. While in Spirited Away, the whole thing is clearly the thought processes of a confused little girl and her worries about moving to a new house and leaving her old life behind. She thinks her parents are pigs for neglecting her, begins forgetting her name because of her uncertainty of who she really is, and as she ventures on a journey of self-discovery she is confronted by the lesser known areas of her psyche, and learns how earlier experiences in her childhood have affected her, and how she can get continuity in her life through remembering, turning her parents back ito the ones she loves. One may view the bathhouse as the mind, yubaba being the superego, the boiler room being the id and lin being the ego (or maybe the persona complex). The different characters are archetypes or complexes within our minds, for example, Haku as Chihiro's Animus, noface as the shadow archetype, the stink spirit as an internal conflict, Zeneba as the mother archetype, Ashitaka as the hero archetype, the wolf girl as a repressed memory, etc... Even things such as the pleasure principle and the reality principle can be seen in both movies in various situation (noface's greed vs chihiro's need to save haku, the town vs the boars etc...). That scene with the train in Spirited Away (one of the most emotionally moving parts) is when Chihiro fully makes the journey from her egocentric thinking, to situating herself in the real world, and is able to remember her earlier experience with Haku and save her parents. In both movies there is a very important element played by the spirit of the forest and the river spirit. They both seem to symbolize continuity and how the mind perceives change and creates meaning out of it. It is almost as if they are displaying the mind's innate capacity to interpret things spiritually or through symbols and metaphors. It is extremely interesting to see just how deep you can go using this method. Miyazaki needn't have deliberately constructed the stories this way, its just that Jungian principles are so applicable, and it really goes to show that good works of art are always so rich with metaphors and provide an entrance into the psyche. There is honestly so much more things to talk about, anybody have any ideas? Things I've left out include the role of the baby, the transformation of the crow, 3 heads and the baby, and the role of the stink spirit in spirited away, as well as the dual characteristics of the spirit of the forest, the role of the leader of irontown, the role of women, and the significance of the curses in Princess Mononoke.

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