If you think that animated films are for children, think again. If you’ve never seen a Miyazaki animation, treat yourself. His visuals are magnificent and he particularly has a gift for animating real events, like an earthquake, which conveys the horror and devastation in a way that cinematography does not. The use of colour can be breathtaking at times. If it weren’t for the snooty tendency to ghettoise animation and dismiss it, wrongly, as a ‘genre’, Miyazaki would easily rank among the world’s greatest living directors.
Unlike many of his other films, which have strong elements of fantasy, the core of this film is a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, a designer of World War Two military aircraft whose Zero fighter was, very roughly, the Japanese equivalent of the Spitfire. Around it are fictional subplots drawn from elsewhere: an entire tragic romance comes from a novella by the Japanese writer Tatsuo Hori, and characters and scenes are borrowed from Thomas Mann’s great interwar novel, The Magic Mountain.
The film has won numerous awards and was nominated for an Oscar Best Animation.
Click below for reviews and more information.
Venue: William Loveless Hall