Hayao Miyazaki's latest, and quite possibly final, Studio Ghibli feature film arrives in the US in selected cities this weekend, and everywhere on February 28. I shouldn't have to tell you that it's going to be quite the event, and one that all animation lovers cannot miss. The film, like many of his films, is based on a manga comic that ran in Model Grafix magazine, and chronicles the story of Japanese engineer Jiro Horikoshi, most famously known as the designer of the "zero wing" aircraft used in World War II. There are parallels to Miyazaki's himself (naturally), and this is, in many ways, a grand summary of the man's career and life.
Here is the official American trailer for the film, which is quite respectful of the great film director. Accolades from all the major movie critics abound, both for The Wind Rises and Miyazaki's 50-year career. And the film is in the running for a Best Animated Feature Oscar.
In many cities, both subtitled and dubbed versions will be shown. You'll need to check your local listings to see what options are available. Personally, I plan to see both versions...as if I really need an excuse to see the latest Hayao Miyazaki movie at a theater. I saw Ponyo and Howl's Moving Castle four times when they were playing at the Lagoon Cinema. No doubt you'll do the very same.
Because The Wind Rises is more of an "adult film," and not a children's story like Ponyo or Spirited Away, I don't expect this film to have as successful a US theatrical run. Disney is taking a much quieter approach, preferring to play the art-house circuit and leave it at that. In a perfect world, any Hayao Miyazaki movie would be shown on 4,000 screens like any high-profile blockbuster...I can't help but feel a touch grouchy at the likelihood that Mr. Peabody and Sherman will make more money on its first screening than Wind Rises will on its entire run. Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli will remain, for now, a carefully-treasured secret.
Now I just have to find where I put my copy of the Kaze Tachinu comic. Where the heck did I put that thing? Ack!!
daniel thomas Categories: miyazaki, the wind rises