The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Will Open In September — and Its First Exhibit Honors Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki is the celebrated Japanese animator of films "Spirited Away" and "My Neighbor Totoro."

Rendering of The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles
Photo: ©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©A.M.P.A.S./ Images from L’Autre Image

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will finally open soon in Los Angeles, and it's planning a new exhibit that Studio Ghibli fans will love.

The museum experienced some extensive delays, but will officially open on Sept. 30, 2021. The first major exhibit will be entirely dedicated to animator Hayao Miyazaki and his films.

Background from film, Spirited Away (2001)
© 2001 Studio Ghibli

Up until now, seeing a large collection of artifacts from Miyazaki's career has been almost impossible in North America. However, there is a museum in Japan dedicated to the animator and his production company, Studio Ghibli. Still, anyone living in the U.S. would definitely need to travel (or take a virtual tour) if they wanted to take a look behind the scenes at this iconic production house.

The upcoming Miyazaki exhibit at the highly anticipated Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will feature 300 objects on display, some of which have never been seen outside Japan.

Black and white photo of Hayao Miyazaki and a watercolor painting from the film, The Wind Rises
Nicolas Guerin; © 2013 Studio Ghibli

The exhibit will be divided into seven sections, all of which touch on different themes and are guided by Mei, the four-year-old protagonist from "My Neighbor Totoro." Visitors will be able to explore the worlds of Miyazaki's most beloved films, including "Princess Mononoke" and "Kiki's Delivery Service," delve into some of Miyazaki's earlier works, and see a collection of production materials, essays, and samples of the animator's TV work. The museum will also be organizing film screenings in both Japanese and English.

The museum itself, designed by architect Renzo Piano, will be the largest space in the U.S. dedicated to movies and moviemaking. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has taken over the Saban Building — in Miracle Mile not far from LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). They've added an impressive spherical structure to the historic building, complete with a theatre and a rooftop terrace overlooking the Hollywood Hills. Museum visitors will enjoy not only the melding of historic and modern architecture, but 50,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 288-seat performance venue.

The museum will be located at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. Hours and ticket prices are currently not available. For more information on visiting this fall, visit The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures' website.

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