Miyazaki, anime, and....like that.
Walt Disney provided entertainment to the masses, a distraction from the everyday, whether during the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, or the angst of the VietNam era.
Hayao Miyazaki, provides a Call back to Japan's cultural and spiritual roots, and takes us along for the ride. His winsome back-looking to a simple, family centred Japan is genuine, and the gorgeous, lush backgrounds make one want to live in the movie. I don't find his tendency to "re-use" faces to be a problem. It is rather like finding a favorite actor in yet another keen role.
So many of his female characters bring out my Daddy streak. I just want to hug them. The sweetness of his stories is never treacly, and when I find myself with a tear in my eye, I don't feel as though I have been cheaply manipulated, like Disney or Spielberg's movies seem. Miyazaki-san touches me. Disney and Spielberg push my buttons.
Now, I may depart from some of my reader, but I do not have problems with the "spirituality" of Miyazaki's films. C.S. Lewis posited that a culture's myths and folklore are imperfect reflexions of the Real. The English preacher Derek Prince echoed this in his belief that the giants of Genesis 6 are the basis for the Greek Titan myths. The Biblical testimony of there being myriads of angels (one teacher suggests 100 trillion, based upon numbers in the Book of Revelation) makes me think that there must be more going on in the Heavens than an Eternal Hymn Sing. If we have guardian angels (Matthew 18:10), and nations are overseen by angels
(Daniel10:1-21), I wonder if perhaps there is spiritual oversight of the realm of nature, and the concept of benign forest spirits, or even soot sprites, may be an imperfect picture of Reality. I am not being an animist or a pantheist. I'm just thinking.
If I found a Totoro in my wood, I would not worship it. I would politely bow, and thank God for His wonders.