The legendary anime director, producer, and writer, Hayao Miyazaki has just finished what he claims will be his last full length movie. For those that don’t recognize the name, Hayao Miyazaki worked with Studio Ghibli on some of the biggest and best anime movies such as Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and more. Losing Miyazaki as a movie maker will be a tragic loss but he at least leaves us with one last movie.
The name of this last Hayao Miyazaki film is The Wind Rises and a subtitled version of the movie played in select theaters in the U.S. over the weekend. The movie will be dubbed in English and will play for a limited time release in the states on February 21. It has been submitted to the Academy Awards under the Animated Feature Film section. In the past Miyazaki has won an Oscar and been nominated at other times. In total, Hayao Miyazaki has been obtained 50 awards over the years for his excellent work.
Frank Marshall will be working with Studio Ghibli on the English dub of The Wind Rises. In the past Miyazaki films have featured recognizable voices for the English versions. Just a few of the actors and actresses have been Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Billy Bob Thornton, and Kristin Dunst and Betty White.
Some have had some complaints with the movie due to the content. Usually Miyazaki films are more fantasy driven but this time he leans more towards the realistic and historically accurate. Not everybody realizes that Miyazaki films are not just for children, they are for all ages. The Wind Rises is more geared towards older audiences and features smoking in at least eight scenes, a fact that surprised some. The story of The Wind Rises follows a man who simply wanted to create something beautiful. At that point it gets a little controversial because what was invented was an airplane that was used in World War II to cause a lot of damage.
Some may also be turned off from the movie due to its lengthy running time, 126 minutes. Miyazaki knows how to tell a story, he knows why he includes each scene that he does, in fact he almost always writes every movies he directs. If his last film is a long one, it is surly because he is telling a story with a lot of elements and pieces that need to be included.
The world will miss Hayao Miyazaki’s films but hopefully Studio Ghibli will be able to continue making great films. Miyazaki is now 72 and notes that his failing eyesight is playing a part in his being able to work. After all the work this man has done he has more than earned retirement. The 11th film from Myazaki, The Wind Rises has been denounced in South Korea but still remains widely international. As we say goodbye to an era of anime excellence that has reigned since the 1980’s we tip our hats to Miyazaki in thanks.
By Garrett Jutte