Hayao Miyazaki Seems To Hate Lord Of The Rings, Indiana Jones And Hollywood Movies

Hayao Miyazaki Seems To Hate Lord Of The Rings, Indiana Jones And Hollywood Movies

Hayao Miyazaki may like many things, but the Lord of the Rings movies and the Indiana Jones series don’t appear to be among them.

In an interview that dates from a few years back, Miyazaki not only criticised Hollywood, but those who enjoy its films.

The interview has recently been appearing on major Japanese blogs like Hachima Kikou and Yaraon.

Kotaku has not confirmed the interview in its original hard copy form, but here are apparently more excerpts from the same publication.

“Americans shoot things and they blow up and the like, so as you’d expect, they make movies like that,” said Miyazaki at the time.

“If someone is the enemy, it’s ok to kill endless numbers of them,” he continued. “Lord of the Rings is like that. If it’s the enemy, there’s killing without separation between civilians and soldiers. That falls within collateral damage. How many people are being killed in attacks in Afghanistan? The Lord of the Rings is a movie that has no problem doing that [not separating civilians from enemies, apparently]. If you read the original work, you’ll understand, but in reality, the ones who were being killed are Asians and Africans. Those who don’t know that, yet say they love fantasy are idiots.”

There is a discourse on race in Lord of the Rings, but Miyazaki’s grouping of Lord of the Rings in with the American military seems slightly baffling.

Sure, the movies were released and funded by a Hollywood company, but Peter Jackson, a New Zealand native, made the films in his home country with his Wellington-based studio. Plus, J. R. R. Tolkien was British. But Miyazaki seems to be grouping all of the Western into a singular Hollywood or, even, “American” lump.

“Even in the Indiana Jones movies, there is a white guy who, ‘bang,’ shoots people, right? Japanese people who go along and enjoy with that are unbelievably embarrassing. You are the ones that, ‘bang,’ get shot. Watching [those movies] without any self-awareness is unbelievable. There’s no pride, no historical perspective. You don’t know how you are viewed by a country like America.”

(Maybe Miyazaki is talking about this scene?)

For a good chunk of the first and third movies, Indiana Jones was punching Nazis. (SYFY has a good piece on problematic elements in the movies and points out that even with said issues, it doesn’t mean the films should be cast aside.)

Miyazaki has previously made critical comments about the United States, writing, “I dislike the United States that dropped the nuclear bombs and does not regret it.”

He added that he was “against Americanization” and “hate[d] people who are proud that cheap Japanese cars are popular in America, and I look at people who wear badges of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force that filled Vietnam with dioxins as enemies.” He also claimed to be “Anti-jeans, anti-bourbon, anti-burgers”, “Anti-fried chicken, anti-cola, anti-American coffee”, and “Anti-New York, Anti-West Coast, Disneyland go back to America!”


      • perhaps but his comments about a “white guy” and also lumping all white people as “American” certainly sound like he is – while I enjoy the anime he releases I take it he has a very negative view on “gaijin “

        • It read to me like his issue was with the Hollywood film industry, which is clearly an American centric industry. I didn’t get the impression he was dismissing Peter Jackson as American or saying it was created solely by Americans. It was more that he feels that the fantasy movies that are funded and distributed by American companies display an objectionable western imperialist philosophy. To be clear, I think his opinions expressed here are cooked, but it’s a stretch to call him racist based off this. I can’t read Japanese so I can’t go off the original context, only the quotes provided, but that’s just my interpretation.

  • “I dislike the United States that dropped the nuclear bombs and does not regret it.”

    What about the Japan that raped Nanking and doesn’t regret it?

  • There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot he doesn’t dislike outside a narrow section of idealized early 20th century.
    In all seriousness Miyazaki is one of those people who saw his country be forcefully transformed by a nation that had beaten it in war and he’s clearly bitter about having to watch Japanese culture, perspective and appearance on the international stage warped by America. I get that, I’d probably hate that too in a similar circumstance and at least he’s a pacifist pushing for peace rather than one of the “good old days” Japanese old men pushing for Japan to army-up again. I guess my problem with Miyazaki is that so often all we hear from him is criticism. We don’t hear about him doing much to change what he doesn’t like and we don’t hear much about what he does like so he just kind of comes across as angry old man shouting at the new generation for not being like him.

  • What a weird venn-diagram here, you start off with “if they’re the enemy then it’s ok to kill a lot of them” which I notice and similarly find really uncomfortable in all entertainment mediums but exceedingly so in video games where we’re meant to have some semblance of control and yet we’re still apathetic to everything beyond our initial scope and perspective, most of the time it being forced.

    But then you continue on and it’s turned into a “we/my people are always the bad guys” and I can’t relate in media but I imagine that does sting when the biggest and most popular pieces of entertainment are pushing forward that kind of imagery, because it often feels like American movies get pushed heavily more than a lot of national ones in almost everywhere I’ve heard of, I see more American films in Australian cinemas than Australian films and that kinda seems a bit weird when you think of it as well.

    But then even further and it turns into a basic anti-american sentiment, which whilst being as valid as you want it to be with whatever evidence sort of waylays the point he’s either making or people are trying to make for him.

  • I’d heard that Indiana Jones scene was meant to be some another ‘boss fight’, but they filmed the gunshot option as well, on Ford’s suggestion (I think) and it ended up being very well received in test screenings so they went with it.

    Anyway, back on topic … I have mad respect for Miyazaki, but he needs to check himself talking sh*t about Indiana Jones and LOTR.

    • That’s true. It was the last thing they needed to film before they left the country, Ford had dysentery at the time and basically wasn’t up for the multiple days of shooting required for the planned epic sword-v-whip fight, so he and Spielberg agreed to just shoot him.

  • I wonder the full context but it does seem to be said with no reference to Japan’s own heinous atrocity riddled past…

  • This reminds me of when Quincy Jones went on that tirade about the Beatles, but cranked up to million whilst vilifying the audience as well.

  • I thought it was pretty well known by now that Miyazaki is a total prick, albeit an incredibly talented one, but a prick nonetheless.

  • To me, Miyazaki is often like a child. Sometimes beautiful and surprising. But other times thoughtless, and needlessly cruel.

  • Hmm, yet every movie he mentioned that he doesnt like is better than every single one of his anime movies.

  • Hayao Miyazaki may like many things

    This, right here, is a starting faulty proposition if I ever heard one. Miyazaki is famously curmudgeonly; there’s very little that he likes. Nature, planes, and the craft of animation are probably it.

  • He’s spot on tho. Everything in American/western culture is solved by killing. That’s why Dr Who is so refreshing.

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