Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro” is still the movie I first recommend to people who have never seen a Japanese animated movie in their life, and thinks it’s all about alien tentacles raping people and goofy superheroes forming giant robots. Over the years, I’ve really liked Miyazaki’s output, though not all of them by any stretch. I still can’t fully buy into “Princess Mononoke”, though “Ponyo” was ridiculously cute and charming.
Miyazaki’s latest is the historical drama “The Wind Rises”, about a plane designer during World War II. From what I can tell, there are no cute animals or wild fantasies, so it’s probably not something you’ll want to sit the kids in front of, unless they’re mature enough to handle the subject matter.
In “The Wind Rises,” Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted and unable to be a pilot, he becomes one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers, experiencing key historical events in an epic tale of love, perseverance and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.
The voice cast includes Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Stephen Alpert, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita, and Mirai Shida.
The film will open Stateside next year on February 21, 2014 in limited release, before expanding wide February 28, 2014. I’ve no idea if it’ll be shown with subtitles or dubbed.