“I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself” -Miyazaki on AI Animation
Miyazaki, best known for his work as a director for animated films such as Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, is often compared to his idol, Walt Disney. Whimsical fantasy worlds with very memorable characters and environments that are unrivaled in the animation industry are staples of both Disney and Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki’s opinions are often revered since he’s somewhat of a hermit and doesn’t do interviews very often. This time? We’re not so sure.
In this case, Miyazaki was shown 3D animation created by artificial intelligence for use in the horror genre. Older zombie and horror titles from the early 3D gaming days had janky movements due to hardware restrictions and a lack of finesse. However, in recent years, that movement has been honed to a point where the scary element is sometimes lost. This movement demo showcases some particularly strange zombie movement that triggered the shit out of Miyazaki, leading him to give criticism as harsh as Gordon Ramsay in Hell’s Kitchen.
“I have a friend who is crippled, who can’t even give a proper high five. While knowing that, I can’t watch this and find it interesting. I think this is an insult and disgusting to humans.”
Miyazaki is missing the point of AI animation completely.
While his harsh criticisms seem to have silenced the room, it seems Miyazaki isn’t much of a forward thinker. Stuck in his ways, he can only think of the negatives instead of realizing the future role AI will have in animation. Perhaps he’s scared that AI will one day surpass his legacy in creating cartoons. The human elements of animation as an art form are unlikely to be replaced in the coming years, but maybe far off into the future. In the meantime, can he enjoy a new Silent Hill or Resident Evil title? Probably not.