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Hayao Miyazaki's Next Film to Focus On The Life Of The Designer Of The Zero Fighter Plane

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by Drew Taylor
July 23, 2012 9:18 AM
4 Comments
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Hayao Miyazaki Zero Fighter Plane

As Twitch film points out, the next film from famed animator and director Hayao Miyazaki will not be something "everyone in the audience can relax and watch." No, instead, the director of such beautifully cuddly movies as "Spirited Away" and, most recently, 2008's touching aqua-fable "Ponyo," will be doing something more personal and unique. As it turns out, it's a film based around the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero fighter plane that was used during World War II, most infamously during the Pearl Harbor attack. Whoa boy.

Twitch points to some tweets by Japanese animators Osamu Kobayashi and Takashi Hashimoto, who suggest that this is indeed the next project from the man commonly referred to as the Japanese Walt Disney. As a subject, Horikoshi is a fascinating one – he was a brilliant aeronautical engineer who designed many of the Japanese fighter jets used during World War II (most were manufactured by the Mitsubishi corporation). Of course it was the Zero, a sleek, zippy aircraft known to the Allies as "Zeke," which was his most famous (infamous?) creation thanks to its use in the Pearl Harbor attack that would single-handedly bring America into World War II.

According to the same report, Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli is currently on the lookout for animators with background in drawing airplanes for the project (which they speculate could be out as early as late 2013). As for Disney, who had previously been releasing all of the Studio Ghibli movies (thanks in large part by the insistence of John Lasseter, Pixar bigwig and huge Miyazaki freak), they will not have to deal with the political fallout of the project – starting this year the much smaller GK Kids will be releasing all Studio Ghibli productipns. A shame, really, since they won't have the resources or marketing might of the Mouse House.

Something tells us, though, that this project will be buzzy enough to draw interest all on its own. And this one is moving fast, with completion expected by the end of 2013. 

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4 Comments

  • lenij | July 24, 2012 7:57 AMReply

    Ponyo maybe or Totoro but Spirited Away? I doubt it can be describe as anything but cuddly.

  • Mithil Bhoras | July 24, 2012 3:37 AMReply

    Yea, he's obsessed with aviation and has frequently used it in almost all his films. Wiki did reveal some time ago that he was working on the second installment of Porco Rosso. I guess it's not true but he sure is working on a film that involves his interests. So excited!

  • StephenM | July 23, 2012 5:28 PMReply

    Spirited Away is "cuddly"?

  • Arch | July 23, 2012 10:01 AMReply

    Maybe not a complete surprise considering that Miyazaki is something like an airplane geek (see Porco rosso).

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