The Simpsons Pays Tribute To Anime Legend Hayao Miyazaki

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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The Simpsons Pays Tribute To Anime Legend Hayao Miyazaki

Try to spot the references to Miyazaki's most notable works, including Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro.

Last year, Studio Ghibli's legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki announced he was retiring from the industry [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/127382-Hayao-Miyazaki-Ghiblis-Anime-Legend-Retires-at-72]. Now, one of America's most legendary animated TV shows, The Simpsons, has paid tribute to the Japanese director, with a reference-riddle scene in its latest episode. You can check out the full sequence to the right.

Try to spot the references to Miyazaki's most notable works. Fans have managed to find hints of Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Roso, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Ponyo.

The scene's music, composed by Alf Clausen, also does a fantastic job of capturing the pure whimsy of an average Ghibli movie.

I think the best part of the whole sequence is that obvious reverence that it exudes. Rather than simple parody, which The Simpsons is best known for, there is a real sense of respect in the use of Miyazaki's characters.

This particular episode of the show is set to air this Sunday, so stay tuned for any further anime references!

Source: YouTube [http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R94Q6NhuS3A]



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JediMB

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No reference to NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind?

Bah! Bah, I say!

...Though they do get points for the Totoro and Kiki references.
 

Dreadman75

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I saw just about all the references the OP stated except the Princess Mononoke one.

I gotta say that is really cool of them, paying tribute to one of the legends of animation like this. They actually dialed back the humor and let the visuals do most of the talking.

Well done Simpsons.
 

Steven Bogos

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Soviet Heavy said:
I must've missed the Porco Rosso reference, unless it was the music itself.
Chief Wiggum as the pig? I agree that it doesn't look too much like him, but a Pig-man in a Ghibli reference could only be one thing
 

Steven Bogos

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Dreadman75 said:
I saw just about all the references the OP stated except the Princess Mononoke one.

I gotta say that is really cool of them, paying tribute to one of the legends of animation like this. They actually dialed back the humor and let the visuals do most of the talking.

Well done Simpsons.
Mononoke at 0:49, to the right of the magical vehicles entrance
 

the doom cannon

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Just fyi, Miyazaki has said he will retire several times before and didn't actually retire. Who knows, maybe this time it's for real
 

Scarim Coral

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I admit, I did get a chuckle out of that clip! Even using a similar music to Ghibli was alright too (Spirital Away?)!
 

JoJo

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Pretty nice, I liked the music in particular and I agree with Scarim Coral that the music sounded very similar to that of Spirited Away.
 

Kaimax

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the doom cannon said:
Just fyi, Miyazaki has said he will retire several times before and didn't actually retire. Who knows, maybe this time it's for real
Nope, he did it again this year.
http://blog.livedoor.jp/dqnplus/archives/1783936.html
 

LaoJim

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I appreciate the sentiment, and I a huge Miyazaki and Simpsons (at least back in the day) fan, but I'm afraid I'm not really feeling a lot of love for this, all the references seems quite forced and I'm guessing the context, Homer drinks too much Sake, just feels like an excuse. Don't get me wrong, it's nice that they are trying to pay tribute, but I'm just finding there's not a lot of wit or subtlety here, just cramming as many Miyazaki monsters/characters with Simpson faces on them.

Sorry, I guess I shouldn't be such a killjoy.
 

SacremPyrobolum

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That was cool of them.

It makes me feel so warm inside that the people at The Simpsons would honor someone who was so influential in animation even though they could not be farther apart.
 

The Pink Pansy

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Steven Bogos said:
Dreadman75 said:
I saw just about all the references the OP stated except the Princess Mononoke one.

I gotta say that is really cool of them, paying tribute to one of the legends of animation like this. They actually dialed back the humor and let the visuals do most of the talking.

Well done Simpsons.
Mononoke at 0:49, to the right of the magical vehicles entrance
Another Mononoke reference; Krusty is drawn to resemble the character Jigo.
 

Ragsnstitches

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Steven Bogos said:
Dreadman75 said:
I saw just about all the references the OP stated except the Princess Mononoke one.

I gotta say that is really cool of them, paying tribute to one of the legends of animation like this. They actually dialed back the humor and let the visuals do most of the talking.

Well done Simpsons.
Mononoke at 0:49, to the right of the magical vehicles entrance
Also, Krusty was the Mercenary Jigo in Mononoke. This guy:


EDIT: Crap, ninja'd while I was trying to remember his name.
 

Ken_J

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Not Matt said:
anyone fancy a round of Studio Ghibli bingo ?
My card has Flying sequence. Strong willed female character. Booze. Goop. Bratty but lovable child. Painful and terrifying transformation sequence. And hair frizzes upon emotional stimulation.
 

Soviet Heavy

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Steven Bogos said:
Soviet Heavy said:
I must've missed the Porco Rosso reference, unless it was the music itself.
Chief Wiggum as the pig? I agree that it doesn't look too much like him, but a Pig-man in a Ghibli reference could only be one thing
Ah, maybe. I did get Krusty as the monk guy from Princess Mononoke.
 

Covarr

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All these Miyazaki references, but nothing of his absolute best film, Castle of Cagliostro. I understand that one was from his pre-Ghibli days, but it's still his best film ever, by a large margin.

P.S. Thanks
 

ThatLankyBastard

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Wow, a new Simpsons episode that I'm actually going to watch!

And an article that brought my out of Escapist retirement... not that anyone will notice.
Nor should they
 

soren7550

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JediMB said:
No reference to NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind?

Bah! Bah, I say!
I guess it's because technically, it isn't a Ghibli film.

And for the first time in probably a decade or so (ack!) that I've been tempted to watch a new episode of The Simpsons.