A couple of weeks ago, we reported that Disney had secured the rights to Hayao Miyazaki‘s The Wind Rises. Today, the studio announced its plans for domestic distribution, for what could end up being the legendary animator’s final directed film. The film is a Studio Ghibli production and will see domestic release under Disney’s Touchstone Pictures banner.
The film will get an extremely limited run in through November 8-14 in New York and Los Angeles. It will then get a limited release next year on February 21 and expand to a wide release a week later, on February 28.
The November release ensures that the film will be in the thick of the Oscar race for Best Animated Film and possibly even Best Foreign Film.
All of this information comes via a press release that also mentions that the film with be showcased in its original Japanese with English subtitles. It mentions this with the New York and Los Angeles release information and gives Disney three good months to dub the film in English with familiar western voice actors (which is a common Disney practice). It isn’t immediately known if the wide release in February will be dubbed or not, but one can only assume that its wide release will be dubbed to maximize box office potential.
The film, the fictionalized story of WWII aeronautics engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane, doesn’t seem to necessarily have a kid-friendly subject, but as an animated film, will have a built-in audience with the kiddies of America and Canada.
The film looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to catch it when it hits American shores this Fall!
The film’s trailer is below, followed by its full press release:
The Walt Disney Studios and Studio Ghibli revealed North American release plans for “The Wind Rises,” a Studio Ghibli film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki (“My Neighbor Totoro,” “Spirited Away,” “Ponyo”), at the North American premiere of the film today at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is slated for limited release in North American theaters on Feb. 21, 2014, and expanded release on Feb. 28, 2014, under the Touchstone Pictures banner. “The Wind Rises” will also open for Academy Award® qualification engagements in New York and Los Angeles Nov. 8-14, 2013, showcasing the original film in Japanese with English subtitles.
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 film made its international debut at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month, and its North American premiere with an official screening at the Toronto International Film Festival this evening. It was showcased at the Telluride Film Festival and will also play at the upcoming New York Film Festival.