I hope you kids are all ready to go...tomorrow is the big day! Hayao Miyazaki's final directorial feature film, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) opens on over 400 screens in the USA tomorrow! Enjoy these screenshots, which were supplied to press outlets.
The big question on everyone's minds is, simply, "Is this the final Miyazaki film?" The answer is a very probable yes. The decision has been made for Studio Ghibli to continue into the future, beyond its original visionary founders. And that means the studio must spend time necessary to cultivate the next generation of talent. Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Goro Miyazaki are the newest directors, and their projects are closely developed and supervised by Miyazaki himself. He has chosen the projects and source material, developed the pre-production and story ideas, and generally started the car before handing the keys to the new kids.
Simply put, there isn't enough time left to devote to several new directors, film and television projects, and develop another directorial feature film. At 73 years of age, it's miraculous that Hayao Miyazaki continues to work at the level he does. The Wind Rises completely wore him out; we've said this many times in the past, but age and time will exact their toll. Panta Rhei. All Flows.
Careful readers will note that I have specified only feature animation films. Hayao Miyazaki still intends to create short films for the Ghibli Museum and manga comics. This movie is not his final masterpiece by any stretch. But it is most likely the final chance we will have to see his art shined on the big screen, in a dark theater packed with our dear family and friends. This is a special moment, dear readers, and I sincerely hope you don't let it pass.