Japanese director and animator Hayao Miyazaki’s films are inspiring illustrators and animators around the world. The importance of Miyazaki’s animation lies in his unparalleled ability to capture all the ephemeral qualities of life–whether illustrating the subtle atmospheric shift of fog rolling into a bay, or a heroine’s transformation in a moment of discovery and delight. In a Studio Ghibli film, the action pauses to allow for delicate moments of wonder and grace. These scenes are conveyed with beauty– brilliant colors, unique perspectives, perfectly framed compositions and special dynamic effects, all contributing to a sense of drama. The broad themes of his films reflect a concern for the environment (films often include illustrations of man-made pollution and its effects), the tension between man and nature, discovery and transformation of the human spirit. Masterfully creating imaginary worlds, Miyazaki invites the viewer to share in the excitement of life’s myriad possibilities. Perhaps Miyazaki’s most important contribution to society is one that concerns the environment. Beyond the superb technical and artistic execution of the animation production, a Miyazaki film helps viewers, many of whom are children, appreciate our planet’s gifts and foster a sense of responsibility for preserving its fragile natural resources.