Flying High with Miyazaki’s heroes
A huge cat shaped like a bus. A floating city high above the clouds. A heroic1 princess communicating with horrible creatures. These are a few images from the magical world of Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s master of animation. But Miyazaki’s movies aren’t just cartoons for children. They also show how deeply the filmmaker cares about the urgent2 need for peace and environmental protection. These issues3 are very important to Miyazaki’s heroes, who are often young girls. The characters act as messengers4 and protectors of peace and nature. They convey5 Miyazaki’s belief that by destroying nature, people harm not only the earth, but themselves as well. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Miyazaki’s first independently made movie, reflects the problems of modern humans. In the movie, mankind is struggling to survive in a violent, polluted world of poisonous gases and frightening creatures. Only the brave princess, Nausicaa has the power to communicate with the angry, injured Earth. In an act of pure love, she gives up her own life to save mankind, and the earth itself.
外型酷似巴士的巨猫、漂浮在云端的城市、能与可怕生物沟通的英勇公主，这些画面都是来自日本动画大师宫崎骏的魔法世界。 但宫崎骏的电影可不只是给小孩看的卡通，他的电影表达出宫崎骏本人非常重视的议题，也就是对于和平与环保的迫切需求。 上述主题对于宫崎骏电影里的主角而言相当重要，这些主角往往都是年轻女孩，扮演了传递和平讯息与保护大自然的角色。她们传达了宫崎骏的信念，也就是人类在破坏大自然的同时，不只伤害了地球，也伤害了自己。 《风之谷》是宫崎骏第一部独立制作的电影，反映了当代人类社会的问题。影片中，人类在充斥着暴力、污染、毒气和恐怖生物的世界里挣扎求生。只有勇敢的公主娜乌西卡有能力与愤怒且受伤的地球沟通。娜乌西卡出于真爱，为拯救人类与地球而奉献了自己的生命。
1. heroic adj. willing to take risks to help others 英勇的 Even as bombs fell on the city, the heroic doctors continued helping the injured. 即使炸弹频频落在这座城市，英勇的医生仍继续救助伤患。
2. urgent adj. requiring immediate attention 紧急的；急迫的 The electricity bill is due tomorrow, so it’s urgent that you pay it today. 电费帐单明天就到期了，所以你今天得赶快缴费。
3. issue n. an important question, situation, or problem 议题；主题 Guests on this TV program discuss important issues, such as illegal drug use. 电视节目的来宾讨论几项重要的议题，如非法使用药物等。
4. messenger n. sb./sth. that tells others sth. （讯息、文化等的）传递者 The two kings lived very far apart, and used messengers to communicate. 那两国国王相距很远，因此通过信差来互通信息。
5. convey v. to communicate or make known 传达 If you can’t speak their language, it will be hard to convey your thoughts to them. 如果你不会说他们的语言，就很难向他们表达你的想法。
Miyazaki films, including Nausicaa always feature1 breathtaking flying scenes. To Miyazaki, flight symbolizes2 the ultimate expression of freedom. His characters are often happiest when they e soaring through the air. Miyazaki’s fascination3 with flight and flying machines is gloriously expressed in Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986). For this film, Miyazaki lovingly drew the mechanical4 details of every machine. In addition, the story centers around a magical blue stone that grants the ability to fly. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) is about Kiki, a teenage witch who flies on a broom. Kiki leaves home and uses her flying skills to start a delivery business. At first, she makes careless mistakes and can’t get along with others. Gradually, however, she learns to help others, gains confidence, and grows up. Another dynamic5 hero is Chihiro of Spirited Away (2001). At first, this ten-year-old is a spoiled little brat. But after her parents are turned into pigs, Chihiro must grow up fast. She enters the spirit world and starts working for a scary witch. Eventually, Chihiro charms all the spirits with her determination6 and bravery.
宫崎骏的电影，包括《风之谷》在内，一向以令人惊叹的飞行场景著称。对宫崎骏而言，飞行象征着自由的终极表现，而电影主角感到最愉快的时刻，就是翱翔天际之时。 宫崎骏对飞行和飞行器的热爱充分而华丽地展现在《天空之城》里。为了这部电影，宫崎骏很投入地勾画出每部机器机械构造的细节。此外，故事本身则围绕着一颗具有神奇魔力、能够赋予人飞行能力的蓝色飞行石发展。 《魔女宅急便》这部电影叙述的是琪琪的故事。琪琪是个骑着扫帚飞行的小魔女，离开家后，她利用飞行能力展开了快递工作。刚开始，她常粗心犯错，跟其他人也处得不好。然而，她渐渐学会了帮助别人，并从中获得自信，而变得更加成熟。
1. feature v. to include sb./sth. as an important part 以……为特色；着重 The Taipei Food Festival will feature dishes from around the world. 台北美食展以来自世界各地的美食作为号召。
2. symbolize v. to represent sb./sth. 象征 These roses symbolize my passionate and undying love for you. 这些玫瑰象征着我对你热烈且至死不渝的爱。
3. fascination n. a very strong interest in sb./sth. 着迷 A fascination with airplanes led Tyler to become a pilot. 一股对飞机的热爱引领着泰勒成为飞行员。
4. mechanical adj. related to the parts of a machine 机械的 Without mechanical knowledge, you won’t be able to repair the broken engine. 没有机械方面的知识，便无法修理那个故障的引擎。
5. dynamic adj. lively and full of energy 活力充沛的 Kenny is a dynamic manager who works hard and has many new ideas. 肯尼是个精力充沛的经理，他工作认真，而且总有许多新点子。
6. determination n. the strong desire to reach a goal 决心 I admire Danny’s determination. He never gives up. 我很佩服丹尼的决心，他从不轻言放弃。
Miyazaki’s female characters are the ideal representatives1 for his beliefs. These peaceful heroes generally have close relationships with nature. They also have the love and courage that’s necessary to make the world a better place. In Spirited Away, for example, Chihiro releases a river god from his suffering by emptying him of his pollutants. Miyazaki reflects the complexity of the world by showing good and evil existing together. In Spirited Away, the witch Zeniiba seems bad at first, but she later helps Chihiro. The pirates in Laputa go through a similar transformation. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Miyazaki’s latest movie, includes familiar elements from his other films. The hero, a young girl, is turned into an old woman. She enters a mysterious2 flying castle to try to lift the curse. Her love and bravery are the keys to saving herself and the inhabitants3 of the castle. To see a Miyazaki film is to enter a whole new world. Though his fantasies4 take us to faraway places, his themes are firmly down-to-earth. Through his incredible5 imagination, Miyazaki shares his vision of a clean and peaceful world.
宫崎骏电影里的女性角色，是他个人信念的最佳代言人。这些平静温和的角色通常和自然界的关系密不可分。同时，她们拥有爱和勇气，这是使世界变得更美好所不可缺少的特质。举例来说，在《神隐少女》里，千寻将河神身体里的脏东西都清干净，让河神不用再受污染之苦。 宫崎骏藉由善恶共存的表现方式反映出世界的复杂性。在《神隐少女》里，钱婆婆一开始似乎并不友善，但最后仍对千寻伸出援手。《天空之城》里的海盗也经历了类似的转变。 《霍尔的移动城堡》是宫崎骏的最新作品，片中包含了宫崎骏其他电影里的常见元素，主角是一名被下咒变成老太婆的少女。为了解除魔咒，少女进入了一个神秘的飞行城堡，而她的爱和勇气是拯救自己与城堡居民的关键。 观赏宫崎骏的电影就像进入一个全新的世界，虽然他的奇想带领我们到遥远的地方，但他所探讨的主题却与我们的生活息息相关。通过惊人的想像力，宫崎骏与我们分享他对纯净、和平世界的想望。
1. representative n. sb./sth. that speaks for sb./sth. else 代表 Politicians should always remember that they are representatives of the people. 政治人物应牢记他们是民意代表。
2. mysterious adj. unknown or not easily understood 神秘难解的 The break-in was very mysterious; nothing was taken from the house. 这宗闯空门事件相当神秘费解，因为屋内没有东西被偷。
3. inhabitant n. sb./sth. that lives in a certain place 居民 The inhabitants of the village helped each other make it through the winter. 村庄里的居民互相帮助以渡过寒冬。
4. fantasy n. a story with magical elements 奇想；幻想 Wizards, dragons, and magical forests often appear in the little girl’s fantasies. 巫师、喷火龙和魔法森林常出现在这小女孩的异想世界里。
5. incredible adj. amazing 惊人的 It takes incredible endurance to climb Mt. Everest. 攀登圣母峰需要惊人的耐力。