Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises' Gets Late 2013 Oscar Qualifying Release
by Alex Billington
September 11, 2013
It's coming soon. Disney has confirmed their release plans for what might very well be the last film directed by iconic animator Hayao Miyazaki, titled The Wind Rises (or Kaze tachinu). Telling the story of WWII airplane designer Jiro Horikoshi, the film is very likely the last one directed by Miyazaki and just premiered at the Venice, Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals this month. Disney will release The Wind Rises in a limited release in North America starting February 21st, 2014 with a nationwide expansion a week after. However, they're also planning an Oscar qualifying New York/Los Angeles run in November later this year.
The press release from The Walt Disney Company announces that The Wind Rises will initially show for a week only in New York and Los Angeles from November 8th-14th, 2013, later this fall. This very limited Oscar qualifying run will feature the original film in Japanese with English subtitles. The wider release starting in February will be re-dubbed in English with voice direction by prominent sound designer Gary Rydstrom. Studio Ghibli's Geoffrey Wexler, head of their international division, recently stated the English dub should not be of any big concern to Ghibli fans. "Purists, just give it a chance," he pleaded (via Variety).
I caught the film at a surprise last-minute screening at the Telluride Film Festival. While I certainly enjoyed watching The Wind Rises, even though it runs over two hours, it's a bit of a different film for Miyazaki-san. Instead of including any fantastical elements or flying pigs or anything like that, it's a more straightforward biopic about Jiro Horikoshi (a very prominent figure in Japan's history) focusing on a simple love story set just before WWII. There are some really wonderful moments but don't expect to see Miyazaki going out with a bang. It's a fine film with gorgeous animation, but by far not my favorite of his feature films unfortunately.
We'll continue to keep an eye out for updates on The Wind Rises (watch the full Japanese trailer here) and any other upcoming Studio Ghibli releases. If you're a big Ghibli/Miyazaki fan like I am, then make sure to mark down this release in your calendar and be sure to catch it in theaters when it arrives. I'm so happy that Disney isn't holding onto this one for a year or more, and it's good to see them releasing it sooner than later.