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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited