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Old 02-07-2014   #1
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Default Miyazaki Scriptwriter Interviewed

Here's an article that I found interesting: an interview with the man who penned the scripts for the first two Disney Miyazaki dubs: John Semper, Jr. He did Kiki's Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky. A lot of purists have criticized his scripts for these two movies for having extra chatter, but personally aside from one controversial change toward the end in the latter film, I otherwise think both are well written and flow smoothly, even with the chattier atmosphere. Here's the link:


Interesting quotes I found from the interview:

I also like having done the English language scripts for the Miyazaki films "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Laputa." I feel honored to have my name associated with a true genius like Hayao Miyazaki.
I also love mostly everything by Hayao Miyazaki, especially "Laputa." (Castle in the Sky - 天空の城ラピュタ)
I was a fan of Japanese anime before it became cool and before it was called "anime".

I used to collect Japanese anime on imported Japanese laserdiscs, and bootleg VHS tapes. And I supervised and co-produced a dub job years ago (circa 1981) of the pilot for "Space Adventure Cobra" for Tokyo Movie Shinsha and their representative in the U.S. at the time, a guy named Sheldon Renan.

So I was exposed to some of the best Japanese animation many years before it became popular in this country. But I don't prefer one country's animation over another. I like all animation.
In the late nineties, I was hired by Disney who had just acquired the rights to distribute his films. They hired me based on my track record and my familiarity with his work.

I actually showed up for the job interview with my collection of imported Miyazaki Japanese laserdiscs tucked under my arm.

That really impressed them - that I even knew who he was. Hardly anybody in this country (except hard-core fans) did at that time.
He was also questioned about Miyazaki praising his scripts.

No, not to my knowledge. I don't think he's very invested in whether or not Americans like his films. I mean, it's a nice thing, but from what I've read about him, he really only makes his films for Japanese audiences.
Interestingly, Semper has another Miyazaki credit to his resume.

I loved "Sherlock Hound." which was directed by Hayao Miyazaki. I was actually involved in the English-language dub of that series.

I helped the producer find voice-over actors for it. Yes, I'd write on anything that Miyazaki was attached to. "Sherlock Hound" was a brilliant series.
It is very seldom that Miyazaki dub writers get interviewed, and it's gratifying to see such an interview with this man behind two of my favorite dubs of all time.
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