Very rarely is it possible to witness the end of an era in the film-making world. But through the brilliant new animation The Wind Rises, we can see the final chapter in the career of legend Hayao Miyazaki. For those unfamiliar with the name, Miyazaki is considered one of the greats of the animation world, ranked amongst Walt Disney in terms of influence and ability. The Japanese animator and director is co-founder of Studio Ghibli, the production company behind the charming My Neighbour Totoro, the haunting Grave of the Fireflies, and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away among many others.
Each of Miyazaki's creations are spellbinding masterpieces of rich illustrations, engaging stories and memorable characters. However, the release of The Wind Rises sees Miyazaki call it a day as he retires from Studio Ghibli, albeit with a typical flourish of imaginative splendour. Put simply, The Wind Rises is one of Miyazaki's definitive works, a brilliant creation from a brilliant creator.
Set in pre-WW2 Japan, the film follows the life and career of aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi as he strives to succeed against the odds. Tracking Horikoshi's true story, the film is interspersed with fantastic dream sequences and a touching love story, as the protagonist produces amazing flying machines. For all intents and purposes the film is a coming-of-age tale, though it is possible to see the symbolism deeper within as Japan steers on a course towards war.
Miyazaki's final film has already been released in Japan and America, and has been hailed by critics as "visually sumptuous" and labelled as "the greatest animated film ever made." Lauded as one of Miyazaki's most ambitious works, and with only a limited release in the UK, here are 5 reasons you can't afford to miss The Wind Rises...