Porco Rosso (1992) - News Poster



Studio Ghibli’s Best Movies Are Being Reissued on Blu-ray This October, Including ‘Spirited Away’

Fall 2017 is shaping up to be a great season for Hayao Miyazaki fans here in the U.S. The director’s 1979 feature debut “The Castle of Cagliostro” is returning to theaters nationwide September 14 and 19, and now indie animation distributor Gkids has announced it is patterning with Studio Ghibli to reissue its most classic films on Blu-ray starting this October.

Read More: Hayao Miyazaki’s 1979 Movie Debut ‘Castle of Cagliostro’ to Open Nationwide For the First Time

Beginning October 17, Gkids will release new Blu- ray and DVD editions of Studio Ghibli’s best movies. The first wave of releases includes six titles all directed by Miyazaki: “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Ponyo,” “Princess Mononoke” and the Oscar-winning Best Animated Feature “Spirited Away.” New editions of “Castle in the Sky” and “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” will debut on October 31.

Gkids has been handling
See full article at Indiewire »

Reissues of Six Miyazaki Films in the Works From Studio Ghibli, Gkids

Gkids is partnering with Studio Ghibli to handle the Japanese animation studio’s catalog in North America, including Hayao Miyazaki’s 2002 Academy Award winner “Spirited Away.”

The alliance was announced Monday and will start with the Oct. 17 reissue of new Blu-ray and DVD editions of six titles from Miyazaki: “Spirited Away” and Oscar-nominated film “Howl’s Moving Castle” along with “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Ponyo” and “Princess Mononoke,” followed on Oct. 31 with “Castle in the Sky” and “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.”

The Studio Ghibli library is led by directors and studio co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Gkids has handled theatrical rights for the Studio Ghibli catalogue since 2010, and released “From Up on Poppy Hill,” “Only Yesterday,” “Ocean Waves” and the Academy Award-nominated titles “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya” and “When Marnie Was There.”

Gkids previously announced a partnership with Fathom Events to bring six Ghibli titles back to theaters
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Studio Ghibli Easter Eggs: Video Shows Unique Connections Between Hayao Miyazaki Films — Watch

Studio Ghibli Easter Eggs: Video Shows Unique Connections Between Hayao Miyazaki Films — Watch
Studio Ghibli films are known for their lush animation and attention to detail, and a new video from Ghibli Museum points out unique connections and easter eggs found in the work of co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. Similar to American animation studios such as Disney and Pixar, Ghibli animators find room to put fun flourishes in their work.

Read More: Hayao Miyazaki Calls Artificial Intelligence Animation ‘An Insult To Life Itself’

Including moments from “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Porco Rosso,” “Whisper of the Heart,” “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “From Up on Poppy Hill,” and ” My Neighbor Totoro,” this video showcases parallel scenes, hidden characters and other gems for diehard fans.

Miyazaki is currently working to complete his next project, “Boro the Caterpillar,” which started as a short until he left retirement to expand it into a feature. Miyazaki has been developing this tale for 20 years, and described the project as “a story of a tiny,
See full article at Indiewire »

Incredibly Cool Poster Art for Sequels to Popular Movies We May Never See

Close Encounters 2 by Rich Davies

I've got a great collection of poster art inspired by sequels to popular films that we'll probably never see. This art is part of an art show being hosted by the Los Angeles art gallery iam8bit and it's called Sequel 2.

The gallery opens on November 30th, both online and at the gallery. You'll be able to see the collection of art here. You can see some samples of what will be on display below. Each poster features an artist's interpretation of what a sequel to a particular film could be.

Some of the films included in the art below include Close Encounters of the Third Kind 2, Speed Racer 2, E.T.: The Return, The Power of the Dark Crystal, Being Jeff Goldblum, Who Shot Roger Rabbit, Son of Scissorhands, Furiosa, and Egg Shen and the 6 Demon Bag.

Son of Scissorhands by Mark Borgions

See full article at GeekTyrant »

Anime Legend Hayao Miyazaki Is Coming Out of Retirement

Anime Legend Hayao Miyazaki Is Coming Out of Retirement
Pixar is pretty much on the top of most people's list when it comes to animation studios, but for a great many others, Studio Ghibli is as good as it gets. The Japanese animation house was started by anime legend Hayao Miyazaki more than 30 years ago, who made some of the greatest animated movies of all time during his run with Studio Ghibli. Now, just three years after announcing his retirement from feature filmmaking, the legend is returning to direct at least one more movie.

Anime News Network is reporting that Hayao Miyazaki is indeed going to come out of retirement to direct a feature, Boro the Caterpillar. This is a movie that has been in development for nearly 20 years and is described simply as the "story of a tiny, hairy caterpillar. So tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers." It should be noted that Hayao Miyazaki
See full article at MovieWeb »

Studio Ghibli’s Castle In The Sky at 30

Ryan Lambie Sep 13, 2016

In 1986, Hayao Miyazaki released one of his very best films. We look back at the lasting power and influence of Laputa: Castle In The Sky.

How does humanity quench its thirst for progress while at the same time protecting the environment? Can technology and nature exist side by side, or will our destructive tendencies always get in the way? Those are questions that underscore many of Hayao Miyazaki’s films, from the lighter-than-air eco fable Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind to his final animated feature, The Wind Rises.

In Miyazaki’s work, there’s a constant tension at play between nature and machines, between the tranquility of rural Japan and the industrial revolution of its post war era. The son of an aeronautical engineer, Miyazaki grew up as Japan rebuilt itself in the middle of the 20th century; he was born into a generation with
See full article at Den of Geek »

Match the Studio Ghibli screenshot to the movie – quiz

It might be Studio Ghibli’s last film so with the release of When Marnie Was There, here’s the ultimate test. How many of their classics can you recognise?

Spirited Away

Princess Mononoke

The Cat Returns


My Neighbour Totoro

Only Yesterday

The Wind Rises

Pom Poko

Porco Rosso

Grave of the Fireflies

Tales from Earthsea

The Secret World of Arriety

My Neighbours the Yamadas

The Wind Rises

Kiki's Delivery Service

Princess Mononoke

Howl's Moving Castle

Castle in the Sky

Spirited Away

Only Yesterday

From Up on Poppy Hill

The Cat Returns


The Secret World of Arriety

My Neighbours the Yamadas

Pom Poko

Porco Rosso

Tales From Earthsea

My Neighbour Totoro

From Up On Poppy Hill

The Wind Rises

Whisper of the Heart

Castle in the Sky

Whisper of the Heart


Princess Mononoke

Pom Poko

Grave of the Fireflies

Only Yesterday

Kiki's Delivery Service

7 and above.

Lovely Ghibli!
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom - gameplay trailer

Ryan Lambie Feb 9, 2017

Level-5's still working on its Jrpg sequel Ni No Kuni 2. Here's a first look at its gameplay in action...

Released in 2010, Ni No Kuni was one of the best RPGs of its generation, thanks in no small part to its spectacular production values. With music by Joe Hisaishi and animated sequences by Studio Ghibli, its fantasy world felt cosy and welcoming, even as the action-roleplaying itself proved unexpectedly taxing.

See related  Taboo episode 5 review Taboo episode 4 review Taboo episode 3 review Taboo episode 2 review Taboo episode 1 review: Shovels And Keys

Ni No Kuni's scheduled to return this year, with its sequel subtitled Revenant Kingdom. There have been a few changes in the intervening years, though: Oliver and his friend Mr Drippy are gone, replaced by an older hero named Evan. Those cute familiars are also out of the picture - perhaps because Level 5's hit Yokai Watch
See full article at Den of Geek »

Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom announced, first trailer




Jrpg developer Level-5 has announced a sequel to its 2011 game Ni No Kuni. Here's the first trailer for Revenant Kingdom...

Level 5's Ni No Kuni was arguably among the most beautiful-looking RPGs of the last generation. With animation and character designs by Studio Ghibli, it offered a Pokemon-like game of familiar catching and training, married to a genuinely epic story about lost parents, enchanted kingdoms and evil witches.

It was a game so complete and unique that we didn't necessarily expect to even get a sequel, and yet here it is: Ni No Kuni II: The Revenant Kingdom. It's a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and looks subtly different from the last game; that adventure's young hero Oliver is replaced by a slightly older protagonist named Evan, a boy not quite ready for his role as king of Ding Dong Dell. Evan joins forces with a mysterious visitor named Roland,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘The Apu Trilogy,’ Hayao Miyazaki, ‘Faust,’ and More

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

The Apu Trilogy (Satyajit Ray)

Although it premiered 60 years ago this week at the Museum of Modern Art, Satyajit Ray‘s Pather Panchali remains among both the most accomplished of debuts and cinema’s most universally relatable experiences. Accentuating the basics of human emotions to result in the most complex of reactions, Ray’s subsequent trilogy of films follows the hardships of a Bengali boy as he passes into adulthood, a delicately powerful tale of transition that’s now been gloriously restored.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Studio Ghibli: Marnie, its final films, the future of 2D animation

Ryan Lambie Oct 4, 2016

As When Marnie Was There emerges on disc, we look at Ghibli's final films and what they mean for the future of animation...

If there’s one abiding message behind Studio Ghibli’s animated output, it’s that nothing is permanent. Happiness is delicate; summers pass; memories fade. But the brilliance of the Japanese animation house’s movies is that they find joy in the fleeting, not just melancholy. The encounter between two children and adorably rotund woodland spirits in My Neighbour Totoro is all the more special because it’s presented very definitely as a one-off: a chance meeting that can never happen again.

Studio Ghibli was founded in 1984 following the success of Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, Hayao Miyazaki’s masterful, dazzlingly detailed sci-fi fantasy. From that point on, Miyazaki was established as the sharpest prong on Ghibli’s creative trident, the others
See full article at Den of Geek »

Studio Ghibli: its final films, the future of 2D animation

When Marnie Was There will be Studio Ghibli's last feature. We look at Ghibli's final films and what they mean for the future of animation.

If there’s one abiding message behind Studio Ghibli’s animated output, it’s that nothing is permanent. Happiness is delicate; summers pass; memories fade. But the brilliance of the Japanese animation house’s movies is that they find joy in the fleeting, not just melancholy. The encounter between two children and adorably rotund woodland spirits in My Neighbour Totoro is all the more special because it’s presented very definitely as a one-off: a chance meeting that can never happen again.

Studio Ghibli was founded in 1984 following the success of Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, Hayao Miyazaki’s masterful, dazzlingly detailed sci-fi fantasy. From that point on, Miyazaki was established as the sharpest prong on Ghibli’s creative trident, the others
See full article at Den of Geek »

Bill Fagerbakke interview: Spongebob, Starship Troopers, Statham

The voice of Patrick Star, Bill Fagerbakke, explains Spongebob to us...

The man who provides the voice to Patrick Star in Spongebob Squarepants - and thus, in the recent The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water feature - is Mr Bill Fagerbakke. As Sponge Out Of Water arrives on DVD, he spared us some time for a chat. But we started with something not so fishy...

Before we get onto Spongebob, it'd be remiss of me not to bring up the Starship Troopers animated TV show that you leant your voice to. That was the only proper companion they ever really did to the film.

Yeah. That was a cool ride. It was another time I worked with Clancy Brown too. The session director was Sue Blue, and it was so much fun. It was one of the very rare times in my voiceover career where I've portrayed a 'regular
See full article at Den of Geek »

Hayao Miyazaki box set coming to Blu-ray in November

Hayao Miyazaki fans rejoice! Nerdist announced yesterday that a collective Blu-ray boxset is being released in November of the beloved filmmaker’s work. Big news for anyone who’s been waiting to own all of Miyazaki’s films in great quality, especially his lesser known ones.

Amazon will be releasing The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki on November 17 and it will contain all 11 of the director’s feature films: Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises. If the films didn’t excite you enough, then these bonus features surely will, like Yuki no Taiyo (Yuki’s Sun), a 1972 pilot based on a manga by Tetsuya Chiba that Miyazaki storyboarded, animated, and directed. The set also includes the
See full article at SoundOnSight »

You Can Soon Own All 11 of Hayao Miyazaki's Films on Blu-ray

You Can Soon Own All 11 of Hayao Miyazaki's Films on Blu-ray
Read More: Hayao Miyazaki Returning from Retirement for Computer-Animated ShortStudio Ghibli fans, rejoice! Nerdist has just announced that you can soon be the proud owner of all 11 of Miyazaki's beloved feature films, as well as bonus items like "Yuki's Sun," a 1972 television pilot animated by Miyaaki, storyboards of anime series "Little Samurai," an uncut version of Miyazaki's retirement press conference and the book "The Great Dichotomy: Looking at the Works of Hayao Miyazaki" that explores the themes of Miyazaki's work, as well as the creative proposals for each of his films.  The collection will include: "Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro," "Nausicaa of the Valley on the Wind," "Castle in the Sky," "My Neighbor Totoro," "Kiki's Delivery Service," "Porco Rosso," "Princess Mononoke," "Spirited Away," "Howl's Moving Castle," "Ponyo"...
See full article at Indiewire »

"Porco Rosso" Doesn't Achieve the Same Heights as Hayao Miyazaki's Masterpieces, But It's Still Glorious

Though Hayao Miyazaki made a graceful retirement from the world of hand-drawn animated features in 2013 with The Wind Rises, eschewing many of the fantastical elements that had become his signature in favor of a more realistic approach to the life and legacy of Jiro Horikoshi, many of his films are just now finding their way to Blu-ray, both in Japan and the United States. One of the recent high-definition upgrades is Porco Rosso, the film that first gave us some insight into Hayao’s love of aeronautical engineering and which, like The Wind Rises, plays down the fantastic in favor of highlighting the majesty air travel used to embody in a bygone era. Throw in some sky pirates, a protagonist cursed with the face of a pig, and some beautiful animation and you have a film worthy of addition to any Blu-ray collection.

See full article at JustPressPlay »

See The Studio Ghibli Theme Park We Wish Were Real

How much would you love to visit the worlds of Hayao Miyazaki? Who wouldn’t want to stay at the Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso or the Aburaya Bathhouse from Spirited Away? Japanese artist Takumi has dreamed up a Studio Ghibli Theme Park we can only wish were real — its not gonna happen but imagine if […]

The post See The Studio Ghibli Theme Park We Wish Were Real appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

New DVD Releases: February 2015 In Home Entertainment

February might be a slow month at the movies, but there is still some great stuff headed into homes, thanks to Blu-rays and DVDs. Among these is the long-anticipated Game of Thrones Season 4 release, which will be available to fans later this month ahead of HBO's Season 5 premiere in April. If you want to know when your favorite movies are headed onto Blu-ray and DVD, as well as streaming services, this list is one to peruse. Unless otherwise indicated in the "early release" section, Digital releases are the same day as the Blu-ray and DVD release. Check back each week for new reviews! February 3 February 3 Blu-ray And DVD Releases John Wick Dracula Untold Ouija Porco Rosso Blu-ray Pom Poko Blu-ray Tales From Earthsea Blu-ray The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Dear White People Blu-ray Exists DVD Hector and the Search for Happiness DVD February 3 Early Digital Releases Big Hero 6 Dumber
See full article at Cinema Blend »

Miyazaki's 'Heart of Darkness'

Authors Note: This article freely discusses content from the films: “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness” directed by Mami Sunada, and “The Wind Rises” directed by Hayao Miyazaki. These films were viewed in their native Japanese language with English subtitles; if there is something lost in translation feel free to contact me with a better translation or expanded context of the dialogue.

Considered one of the finest animation directors, Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli has long stood as a champion of traditional hand drawn animation. Those familiar with his work know his stories to be affectingly personal and his characters veritably inked with his own blood, sweat, and tears. His latest film, “The Wind Rises"was released in early 2014 for North America, and as his last film, signified the end of an era. Luckily, Tiff has graciously supplied two films to sate those still hungering with Ghibli appetites; the first being Isao Takahata’s highly anticipated final film – “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”, and the second being Mami Sunada’s engrossing documentary – “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness”.

Though “Kingdom” is neither animated nor Ghibli-produced, fans may find it surprising how in-depth and revealing it is in its examination of Miyazaki’s films and person. Its uninhibited depiction of both Miyazaki and the studio’s production office invites us into a process often overlooked and sometimes even marginalized; here we can see Miyazaki personally drawing the storyboards, writing the dialogue, and even timing the scenes in his head with a stopwatch – a detailed portrait not unlike that of Coppola in “Hearts of Darkness”.

With the loyal fan base that Ghibli and Miyazaki have accrued over the years, many diehards will delight in this rare level of transparency and may find themselves scanning over the film with a magnifying glass, obsessively trying to extract and analyze every available kernel of information. Though many of Miyazaki’s previous films have acted as cracks into the framework of his mind, “Kingdom” is a wholly open book.

Here are some thoughts.

Kid Movies and Kid Friendly

Miyazaki’s filmography is a solid example of films that are appropriate for children but also engaging for older audience members as his films tend to display the mark of a strong artistic conscience in their thematic depth as well as in their detailed art and animation; and it’s not uncommon for other respected animation studios like Pixar to draw upon Miyazaki’s influence when crafting their own films. Despite this, it is rather odd how alienating “The Wind Rises” may be for children. Previous Miyazaki films have perhaps had more scenes of violence or combat, but these were usually tempered with elements of either comedy or fantasy. Miyazaki has ventured into ‘non-children’ content before – during “Kingdom” he cites “Porco Rosso" as a foolish film since it was not for children - but he has never made a more explicitly adult-oriented film than “The Wind Rises.”

In “Kingdom “Miyazaki discusses how the potential of animation is distinct from what can be accomplished through live action, and how animation can change an individual’s perspective of the world. This power of animation seems to contribute to Miyazaki’s sense of pride and responsibility for working within the medium, and helps to explain why his films almost always contain fantastical elements that could be considered childish (in the best sense of the word). Considering this, “The Wind Rises” functions in stark contrast; it contains very few fantasy scenes to distort its historical narrative save for the existential dream sequences that reoccur.

Miyazaki is, however, a self-described “man out of time.” His works have spanned across 50 odd years, and his audience has grown just as he has. Miyazaki’s constant references to himself in “Kingdom” as a “man of the 20th century, lost in the 21st” are testament to his jaded demeanor towards the current era, and possibly attributed to his desire to create a film for solely himself and the “children” of the previous era.

Hideaki Anno as Jiro Horikoshi

With no understanding of Japanese, it is difficult to comment specifically on Anno’s vocal performance and though I can agree that Anno’s voice is “weird,” I can’t offer a more substantial criticism. Given Miyazaki’s fame and clout, it’s likely that he could have attracted any actor or voice actor for the role of Jiro, but Miyazaki’s stern refusal to cast such perhaps speaks to the intangible qualities that someone like Anno possesses.

During the casting process, "Kingdom" depicts the production team discussing the potential of a non-actor for the role of Jiro, with Miyazaki citing the need for a “weird” and “high” voice that isn’t “dainty.” There’s a jovial response triggering the possibility of Anno’s casting, and though at first Miyazaki seems to laugh at the “joke,” his increased excitement ultimately wins out.

For long time fans of Ghibli, Hideaki Anno should be no stranger, as his work was prominently featured in Studio Ghibli’s first release: “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”. However in his later career, he became a prominent director in his own right by creating the critically acclaimed (and polarizing) “Neon Genesis Evangelion” series. It is here we see the potential parallels of Anno and Jiro that Miyazaki may have had in mind during casting: Jiro as a man torn between his desire to create planes and his distaste for war, and Anno, who has had a similarly tenuous relationship with his own creation. It appears easy to dismiss this point considering Jiro’s actions have had ramifications on a global war effort, but "Evangelion" had its own powerful impact on the cultural landscape. Though it wasn’t the first, it was one of the more prominent ‘deconstructive’ series of the 90’s in Japan, influencing not just the future of anime, but Japan’s own cultural lexicon.

At the time of the series’ creation, Anno suffered from a variety of psychoses and depression that consumed and ultimately defined the “Evangelion” franchise. In spite of its popularity, it carried with it the burden of controversy, as many considered the series ‘pretentious’ or ‘lofty’ and the original ending outright terrible (Some fans even going so far as trashing the animation studio and sending death threats to both the studio and Anno). With this in mind, it’s easier to understand the heart that Miyazaki may have seen in Anno - a man cursed with creative desire, but not necessarily the ability to impart control on his creation.

There were, likely, other factors involved, since both Miyazaki and Anno were friendly and had a ‘student/master’ relationship (and of course there is the possibility that Anno may just have had the “weird” voice that Miyazaki had in his head), but given Miyazaki’s involvement in literally every aspect of the film’s production, it seems fair that he would have weighed these details.

Nahoko Satomi: A love story

In “The Wind Rises”, Nahoko Satomi is the wife of Jiro. She first meets him when they are both young adults during the Kanto Earthquake, before ultimately marrying him near the ending quarter of the film. Her character is ‘nice’ and ‘innocent,’ but rather underdeveloped for arguably the most important supporting character of the film (her character is even featured exclusively on the film’s marketing posters). It’s a surprising move by Miyazaki considering his history of not only writing female characters, but also creating leading roles for them. What is most unique though is the relationship portrayed between Nahoko and Jiro - a romance.

Love as a concept has never been absent from Miyazaki’s films, but save for “Whisper of The Heart”, it is never shown explicitly as romance; and its portrayal here is rather…bland. Though Jiro previously meets Nahoko during the events of the Kanto earthquake, their reunion is particularly underwhelming. The two are of course happy to be reunited, but it quickly becomes a very routine depiction of romance; not insincere, but underwhelming. Aside from their previous meeting, there doesn’t seem to be much reason behind their love; they simply spend time together. One can argue that it is these ‘little things’ that do lead to true love, but Nahoko as a character is also rather uninteresting - having only ‘painting’ and ‘consumption’ as marks of her personality. Jiro himself is no more romantic, but considering the film is primarily about him, he obviously does not suffer from a similar lack of characterization.

It’s here where “Kingdom” proves invaluable for better understanding the nature of romance in “The Wind Rises”. In an interview, Miyazaki is questioned about the reason he married his wife and his answer essentially sums his sentiments: “I had no choice but to get married. I asked her to marry me. Can’t back out. […] that’s just how it works […] it’s a secret of life.” Considering how much of himself Miyazaki put into Jiro as a character, it seems likely that he put his own relationship into the film; both Jiro and him being involved in a rather solemn, yet endearing romance.

Coincidentally enough, Miyazaki’s wife does not appear in any interview during the documentary, appearing only briefly and in the background of certain scenes. His wife’s portrayal (or rather lack of) in the documentary may cause puzzlement, but perhaps this mystery is the point- an example of Miyazaki keeping certain details about his life private, just as he carefully controls what to hide and what to reveal in his films. As it is, "The Wind Rises" is difficult to classify as a traditional love story despite having many elements of one; but rather than a story of love between two people, it is one between a boy and his “beautiful dream.”

Jiro as the Samaritan

The majority of Jiro’s characterization is heavily defined by his desire to create beautiful airplanes, and though he spends much of the film doing so, he also frequently performs various altruistic acts. Starting from childhood, Jiro shows a strong desire to help others, such as when he protects another child from bullies. As he grows into his adulthood he frequently acts in service of those in need – most notably during the Kanto Earthquake. Miyazaki has never been one to shy away from deeply imbuing his films with his own philosophies or his personal history, and at first glance The Wind Rises is no different as Jiro and Miyazaki both share a love of flight and a planes, but support a pacifist viewpoint; "Kingdom" however reveals the inspiration for Jiro’s humanitarianism.

In the documentary we learn that Miyazaki’s father was the director of an airplane company during the Second World War and therefore developed parts for fighter planes (also the reason behind Miyazaki’s own fascination with planes and flight.) Though this is evident that Miyazaki imparted many aspects of his father into Jiro, during "Kingdom" Miyazaki recalls a story of his father aiding a neighboring family after a devastating house fire. He specifically mentions his father giving away chocolate (a rare commodity at the time) to the family, a selfless act that mirrors many of Jiro’s own.

And yet, Miyazaki simultaneously muses about the conflicts he and his father had, even accusing his father of being a war profiteer. It’s this dichotomy that both Jiro and Miyazaki struggle with – considering the possibility of an individual being simultaneously capable of both good and evil things. As such, "The Wind Rises" can be interpreted as Miyazaki’s most strictly philosophical film as the story primarily serves to try and answer this dilemma. His past films have never ‘chosen sides’ when it came to conflicts and in the end, Miyazaki abstains from outright asserting an answer to the dilemma of good and evil, as doing so would be uncharacteristic.

The Ending

Here there is no major set piece, just Jiro meeting his deceased wife in his dreams and her waving goodbye as she tells him to live on; it’s a bittersweet ending that mixes the black with the white as he observes his creation fly away for the final time.

Unexpectedly though, this was not the original ending. Despite "Kingdom" briefly mentioning this fact for literally only a second, this was in my opinion the biggest revelation of the documentary. Throughout "Kingdom," there is an air of finality that settles upon the production. Miyazaki is of course making his last film, while Isao Takahata, another Ghibli staple, simultaneously does the same. Additionally, Miyazaki’s prediction for the studio’s future is, while not heavy hearted, fairly accepting of an imminent end. With the fate of the studio and its talent already settled, it makes sense that the original ending of "The Wind Rises" depicted Nahoko saying: “Come” instead of “You must live” as she faded from Jiro’s dreams; implying a depressing solution to both Jiro and Miyazaki’s own internal turmoil.

However, the more optimistic change in ending may have sparked from Miyazaki’s own real life feelings. As the documentary comes to a close, Miyazaki seems to have a turned over a new leaf, announcing in his official retirement statement that he “wished to work for ten more years.” Given Miyazaki’s history of faux retirement, it’s likely that he will return to continue filmmaking in some capacity. Nonetheless, "The Wind Rises" serves as a more than adequate headstone.

Special thanks to Erik O'Malley.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

The Wind Rises DVD Review

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto, Masahiko Nishimura, Mansai Nomura, Jun Kunimura, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, Mae Whitman, Werner Herzog, William H. Macy.

Running Time: 126 minutes

Certificate: PG

The end of an era? We can only hope not. After all, Hayao Miyazaki has attempted retirement before, but then again, there is something about The Wind Rises that feels very definite and complete. The supposed final film of one of cinema’s true greats is not just a riveting biography of plane designer Jiro Hirokoshi, but also a look inside the soul of Miyazaki himself.

Miyazaki has always had a love for planes, ever since being born into a family that ran Miyazaki Airplanes. His films often contain flying apparati such as planes and airships, from Castle In The Sky to Porco Rosso. Now he delves back into the life of Hirokoshi,
See full article at The Hollywood News »
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