‘The Wind Rises’ video: Hayao Miyazaki’s final film opens in U.S.

Feb. 20, 2014 | 1:16 p.m.

“The Wind Rises” opens in select U.S. theaters Friday before an expanded release next week, and a new clip has been released, spotlighting a scene from what legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki has said will be his last film.

The Studio Ghibli film, which is up for an Academy Award next month, tells the story of real-life Japanese engineer Jiro Horikoshi (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who designed the Zero fighter plane. Inspired by the work of Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (Stanley Tucci), Jiro grows up dreaming of flying and designing beautiful planes. After his nearsightedness keeps him from realizing his goal, he instead becomes one of the world’s most innovative airplane designers.

The tale follows Jiro through key historical events including Japan’s devastating 1923 earthquake, a tuberculosis epidemic and economic troubles that preceded the nation’s plunge into World War II.

The film is a departure from Miyazaki’s previous work, which often relied on myth, magical realism and a strong focus on nature, and marks Miyazaki’s first time directing since “Ponyo” five years ago.

“The Wind Rises” was released in Japan last July, topping the Japanese box office and earning more than $100 million.

The English-language version is directed by Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, who also directed English releases of “The Secret World of Arrietty” and “From Up on Poppy Hill.” In addition to Gordon-Levitt and Tucci, the English-language cast includes Mandy Patinkin, Werner Herzog, Martin Short, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Mae Whitman, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood, Jennifer Grey, William H. Macy, Eva Bella, Edie Mirman, Ronan Farrow and David Cowgill.

PHOTOS: Hayao Miyazaki, an animated icon

Miyazaki, beloved for his gorgeous animated features, including “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Princess Mononoke” and the Academy Award winner “Spirited Away,” has announced his retirement from making animated features.

Instead, Miyazaki, 72, will focus on his manga and producing short films for Studio Ghibli’s museum.

“I’m just happy I don’t have to think about my next movie,” Miyazaki told The Times. “I would rather go on my walks. There’s a nursery next door to my studio and I can hear children, which I like very much.”

Watch the clip from “The Wind Rises” and check out stills from the film in the gallery above.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+


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