In “The Wind Rises,” Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished airplane designers, earning the respect of prominent industry greats, including Hattori and Kurokawa. The film chronicles much of Jiro’s life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo. Writer and director Hayao Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in this epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.
Spirited Away is an Oscar winning Japanese animated film about a ten year old girl who wanders away from her parents along a path that leads to a world ruled by strange and unusual monster-like animals. Her parents have been changed into pigs along with others inside a bathhouse full of these creatures. Will she ever see the world how it once was?