The new film from Hayao Miyazaki and his production house Studio Ghibli, widely acclaimed as not only one of anime's brightest stars but one of Japan's greatest living filmmakers of any kind, is to be released in North America by Disney / Buena Vista, according to Cartoon Brew.
The Wind Rises, a/k/a Kaze Tachinu, is based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the "Zero" fighter plane used by Japan in World War II. Controversy has swirled around the film since its original announcement, much of which has revolved around whether or not the film glorifies war. Miyazaki is adamant that his movie does no such thing, and instead concentrates on the life of a man who "desired ... to make exquisite planes."
Controversy aside, the film has performed well in Japan, earning some ¥960 million (around $9 million) in its first two days of release, with a total of ¥7.2 billion ($74.1 million) in four weeks.
Disney has not given an official North American release date yet.
The film is also scheduled to appear at the Venice International Film Festival (August 31 through September 2), the Toronto International Film Festival (September 11-12, and 15) and the New York Film Festival (Sept. 28 and Oct. 4).
Flight and flying are constant and recurring themes in Miyazaki's movies; there's scarcely a one where the characters don't take to the skies. Sometimes it's a native power of the characters themselves, as in Kiki's Delivery Service; sometimes it's a power that must be tamed (e.g., Castle in the Sky).
Studio Ghibli's most recent movie, the outstanding From Up on Poppy Hill (directed by Miyazaki's son Goro), was released in North America via GKIDS and was featured at the New York International Children's Film Festival back in 2012.
Image: The Wind Rises © 2013 Nibariki, GNDHDDTK. Image courtesy Film Society of Lincoln Center.