That, in my humble opinion, is Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki mines all human myths, all genres, even our dreams. His peaceful flooded landscapes–Spirited Away, Ponyo–are the landscapes of the physical soul, where we can see the prehistoric fish of our own dreadful and beautiful submarine powers swimming calmly below the surface of consciousness. One third of our lives is lived below that surface anyway–the flooded landscape is everyday reality seen truly. Powerful and charming as Avatar is, Cameron’s philosophical imagination as regards nature, the environment, and the human role as technologist and maker is utterly outdone by Miyazaki’s The Princess Mononoke. Howl’s Moving Castle is as sophisticated a study of human sexual relationships, aging, war, and spiritual power as any current mainstream novel. And the animation is great art, amazingly fabricated out of the most vulgar materials of anime and children’s stories.
It’s very interesting that the best art of our time is very often in genres regarded by our elites as childish. What is going on?