There are a few directors in the world you wish they would just call filmmaking quits and vanish out of the industry map for all eternity – and Hayao Miyazaki is not one of them. Michael Bay – sure – put him on a jet, parachute him onto the Galapagos islands without any access to a camera whatsoever. The Aaron Seltzer-Jason Friedberg duo, whose filmography is worse than a pile of donkey shit, can be ejected out of Earth for all I care. But not Miyazaki. The man is like a family to all those who grew up with Studio Ghibli.
When UK distributor Studiocanal recently unveiled the gorgeous new trailer of Miyazaki’s swansong The Wind Rises, without any attempt at hyperbole, I tried to choke back salty man-tears as they threaten to spill onto my morning cup of green tea. “Heart-breaking… a sweeping animated epic,” Little White Lies gushes. Instantly, I was transported into a Miyazaki-esque landscape, cherry blossoms drifting with the wind while I stand waving goodbye to the bespectacled 73-year old Ghibli stalwart as he walks off into the lavish sunset he’s painted for himself. Cue aching orchestral score.
His farewell to animation sweeps into cinemas on 9 May. After The Wind Rises, let’s just hope it won’t be a downhill slide for the renowned Studio Ghibli.