Hayao Miyazaki is Japan's most famous and accomplished animator.
Miyazaki's films have recurring themes such as innocence, pacifism, nature vs. man and flying machines. His films often have strong female leads and his villains are never purely evil but have redeeming qualities.
His films are very popular in Japan. Both Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away were the top grossing films ever in Japan at the time they debuted.
Miyazaki started Studio Ghibli in 1985 with his good friend and fellow animator Isao Takahata. Studio Ghibli has been overwhelmingly critically and financially successful.