In director Hayao Miyazaki’s enchanting and somber The Wind Rises, Jiro (a character based on one of the designers of WWII Japanese warplanes) shares his dreams with Caproni, an Italian airplane builder who intends to retire. As it turns out, The Wind Rises is allegedly the last animated feature from Miyazaki, the legendary animation director of such films as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo. If this is indeed his final film, he’s going out on a high note. The film is a bittersweet mix of the joy of fulfilling dreams, and how innocent dreams can sometimes foster terrible destruction. Miyazaki avoids politics for the most part, but there’s an underlying sadness in Jiro and the movie. It’s a beautifully made, complex film, far more so than your average animated movie. The English-dubbed version features the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Martin Short.
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Producer: Toshio Suzuki and Koji Hoshino
Cast: Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Stephen Alpert, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita, Mirai Shida, Jun Kunimura, Shinobu Otake and Mansai Nomura