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

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist July 23, 2012 at 9:18AM

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.
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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. 

This article is related to: Hayao Miyazaki


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