For this project, I created three animated gif posters for a series of films created by Hayao Miyazaki, Grave of the Fireflies, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle. In order to create an illustrated piece for each movie, I took into account the natural known style that Hayao works in. Because the movies are well-known for their hand-drawn illustration style, it was important that I created pieces that did not reflect the style or drown out besides them. For this reason, I created three completely separate illustrations in a style that was much more graphic than the original. Each piece plays on important symbols seen throughout the movie so that they can represent them but not fully give away the movies' plots.
▶ Illustration / Interactive Design
Credit where it's due.
Art Direction // Scott Laserow
Grave of The Fireflies
Grave of The Fireflies is a haunting film of heart break that follows two young siblings during World War II. The main symbolism throughout the film is seen often throughout the popular Japanese candy, Sakuma Drops. The iconic tin can candy represents the perseverance of the children as they survive depending on each other without their now deceased mother. The candy drops serve as their survival during the hard times of the war. The flies themselves represent a deeper meaning in conjunction to the sparks that fly from the firebombs and the death of loved ones as the insects die.
Arguably one of Hayao Miyazaki's most well-known animated films, Spirited Way is a whimsical story of character growth in the character Chihiro. The story follows a young girl in the process of a move she detests. In the midst of her family's travel to their new home, they become distracted by a facade of a spiritual town. Chihiro's parents become enticed by their greed for food and become separated from Chihiro by the spirits living there. The viewer follows the character through a flurry of obstacles as she learns to live in the new spiritual realm without her parents. The story is often intertwined with the river. The viewer soon finds that she is connected to the spiritual realm by an earlier childhood memory where she had fallen into a river but was miraculously saved. Her missing shoe as she floated away and the river are both symbols of her entire connection to the spiritual realm as she had been saved by the river's spirit.
Howl's Moving Castle
Howl's Moving Castle follows the dream-like love story of a stubborn hatter and a charming but dangerous wizard. There's passionate turmoil between the two characters as they both face their own battles. Sophie, the hatter, comes in conflict with a local evil witch that damns her to an imprisonment of an old woman's body. The story revolves around the desire for Howl's (the wizard) heart. Unlike normal hearts, the imagery of his heart contains fiery sparks. Howl, who also has a prominent demon-bird-like form inspired the illustration to emphasize the love and fierceness of a heart that lives in such a dark form.