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Two weeks ago you might have heard the pained howls of anime fan across the world when groundbreaking animation auteur Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement. If the legendary filmmaker is true to his word, that means The Wind Rises will be his final film, making announcement of its American release a bittersweet affair.
Following the animated feature’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Walt Disney Studios in conjunction with Studio Ghibli has unveiled its multi-part release plan for The Wind Rises. The Japanese-language film with English subtitles will open in New York and Los Angeles for a limited engagement November 8th through the 14th, allowing it to qualify for the Academy Awards, where it seems a lock for the Best Animated Feature category. Next, on February 21st, 2014 The Wind Rises will return to theaters, first in a limited release, then expanding to new territories on February 28th under the Touchstone Pictures banner. It’s likely this second run will feature a redubbed soundtrack in English, as that has been Disney’s typical distribution method for Studio Ghibli features, like Ponyo and The Secret World of Arrietty. For now we don't know who might provide the voices for the American dub.
Behold, the official plot synopsis of The Wind Rises:
In “The Wind Rises,” Jiro—inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni—dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes. Nearsighted from a young age and thus unable to become a pilot, Jiro joins the aircraft division of a major Japanese engineering company in 1927. His genius is soon recognized, and he grows to become one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, and depicts key historical events that deeply affected the course of Jiro’s life, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. He meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo. A tremendous innovator, Jiro leads the aviation world into the future. Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in his creation of the fictional character Jiro—the center of the epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.
The Wind Rises is currently open in Japan, and will expand to Taiwan on September 18th. Look for our review when the buzzed about venture lands in the New York Film Festival on September 28th.
Check out the Toronto International Film Festival trailer for The Wind Rises below: