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Miyazaki Humanity

The Essence of Humanity – Hayao Miyazaki

Storyteller OS users: Clip this video into your Knowledge Base and categorize it under Characters

Hayao Miyazaki has strived to not make children's cartoon movies, but help everyone who watches his movies understand the human condition. Through the way he portrays his character's motivations and subtleties, he creates an empathetic bond between the characters and the audience. Learn how Miyazaki's movies convey the exact emotion at the right time and how his stories are different than typical western cinema.


  • Sometimes the goal of your story should be where you want your end on an emotional level. Because even though our characters have clear goals, those goals are are never as important as the characters themselves.
  • The starting point of any character is to understand what they want. Make it clear what your character wants to achieve otherwise they'll have no obstacles to overcome.
  • Sometimes it isn't about the protagonist winning. It's about the protagonist growing and adapting to a world that isn't built around their needs.
  • Spend time on tiny and subtle actions to characters to show how they approach things and situations. We gain emotional insight into a character by grounding them in actions that are relatable.
  • A character's motive doesn't matter if they have no three-dimensionality.
  • Character imperfections are necessary for realism. Audiences can't identify with someone that's written to be perfect. Just because they're the protagonist doesn't make them infallible.