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Human–Nature Relationships in East Asian Animated Films

Department of Geography, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK
Societies 2020, 10(2), 35;
Received: 23 March 2020 / Revised: 10 April 2020 / Accepted: 11 April 2020 / Published: 15 April 2020
Our relationship with nature is complex and exploring this extends beyond academia. Animated films with powerful narratives can connect humans with nature in ways that science cannot. Narratives can be transformative and shape our opinions. Nevertheless, there is little research into non-Western films with strong conservation themes. Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese filmmaker that is acknowledged as one of the greatest animated filmmakers and master storytellers globally. The themes of environmentalism, feminism and pacifism resonate throughout his films. His underlying message is that humans must strive to live in harmony with nature, whilst presenting us with the socio-cultural complexities of human–nature relationships. I review five of Miyazaki’s films that explore human–nature relationships. One film was released with a special recommendation from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and the other won an Oscar. I explore the lessons that we can learn from these films regarding human–nature relationships, and how to create powerful narratives that resonate with audiences and transcend cultural barriers. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental films; conservation narratives; Hayao Miyazaki; human-nature relationships; Studio Ghibli environmental films; conservation narratives; Hayao Miyazaki; human-nature relationships; Studio Ghibli
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Pan, Y. Human–Nature Relationships in East Asian Animated Films. Societies 2020, 10, 35.

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