In 1971, he moved to A Pro with Isao Takahata, then to Nippon Animation in 1973, where he was heavily involved in the World Masterpiece Theater TV animation series for the next five years. In 1978, he directed his first TV series, Conan, The Boy in Future, then moved to Tokyo Movie Shinsha in 1979 to direct his first movie, the classic Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro.
In 1984, he released Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, based on the manga (comic) of the same title he had started two years before. The success of the film led to the establishment of a new animation studio, Studio Ghibli, at which Miyazaki has since directed, written, and produced many other films with Takahata. All of these films enjoyed critical and box office successes. In particular, Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke received the Japan Academy Award for Best Film and was the highest-grossing (about US$150 million) domestic film in Japan's history until it was taken over by another Miyazaki work, Spirited Away.
In addition to animation, Miyazaki also draws manga. His major work was the Nausicaä manga, an epic tale he worked on intermittently from 1982 to 1994 while he was busy making animated films. Another manga, Hikoutei Jidai, was later evolved into his 1992 film Porco Rosso.