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Feature Film

Disney Sets North American Release Date for “The Wind Rises”

Disney revealed release plans today for Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises at the Toronto International Film Festival. Here are the dates:

The film is slated for limited release in North American theaters on Feb. 21, 2014, and expanded release on Feb. 28, 2014, under the Touchstone Pictures banner. The Wind Rises will also open for Academy Award qualification engagements in New York and Los Angeles Nov. 8-14, 2013, showcasing the original film in Japanese with English subtitles.

It would be safe to assume that the consumer theatrical release will be dubbed in English, even though the Oscar-qualification screenings will be English-subtitled, as pointed out in the press announcement.

  • hupto

    Given that this is even more adult-oriented than usual, I hope Disney makes at least a few subtitled DCPs available to art houses. Dubbing is for children, and they won’t be coming to this.

    • hupto

      I’m sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings, but I stand by my original statement. If you’re an adult, you can read. And when a period Japanese character opens his mouth and out comes the Arkansas twang of Billy Bob Thornton or the Catskills schtick of Billy Crystal, it’s almost impossible not to be taken out of the story.

      And for the record, I didn’t say they shouldn’t dub it. I said we should be given the option of subtitled prints. Everybody wins.

    • CG Animator

      I like watching a movie dubbed because I actually like to be able to watch the film without having to read a bunch of subtitles (that often times go by too fast and are awkwardly translated). Especially if it’s a visually rich film like something from Ghibli or Satoshi Kon with a lot of great animation.

      But I guess if you’re watching an “anime” where the characters are mostly just still frames and don’t do anything other then flap their mouths, it doesn’t really matter.

    • Joey Gallagher

      Hayao Miyazaki has said a couple times that he wants people overseas to watch dubs because then they can focus on the visuals instead of having to read everything.

  • Nice to hear that this Ghibli film will qualify for the Academy Awards, considering that both Ponyo and Arriety were snubbed, possibly due to late American releases. But outside of Ghibli, how come no other anime films get significant distribution / AAs? I still feel bad for the late Satoshi Kon…

    • FUNi really needs to figure out a Wolf Children release soon before the DVD comes out in a couple months. Hosoda is pretty much the next Miyazaki as far as making amazing family-friendly animation goes.

      • Beamish Kinowerks

        When exactly is LETTER TO MOMO getting a big roll-out, too?

        • GKids has confirmed they’re gonna qualify it for the Oscars, but the wider release might take a while (A Cat in Paris didn’t get into more than one theater until the summer after it got its Oscar nomination).

    • SarahJesness

      Probably the same reasons a lot of live-action foreign films don’t get big American distribution. That, and the American animation industry is different. Much more child and family oriented, and the studios think that only loud, silly comedies will sell tickets. That’s not to say such films don’t exist in anime, but there’s much more variety in tone, content, and target audience.

    • Ken

      Yes besides Studio Ghibli (which are rarely seen) Americans should see the Satoshi Kon and Makoto Shinkai films – they put Disney to shame

  • zac leck

    Aw, it’s his last film, let him give it a shot

  • Jason

    The real problem why Studio Ghibli’s films, and other anime films for that manner, is because they’re all released in limited theaters. I believe the only anime films that have done well in North America are the first three Pokemon movies, because Warner Brothers put them in a wide release. Then when the Pokemon movies moved to Miramax, those films did’t do well, because they were limited releases.

    • Arrietty got a medium-sized release in over 1000 theaters and did pretty well, better than the third Pokemon movie. Unfortunately it experienced a huge third weekend drop-off because The Lorax took away the family audience and the following weekend it lost most of its theaters, so it didn’t do as well as it could have.

  • AnImportantNote

    Actually, I think with the Ghibli English dubs, the question is more “which translation do I want to watch?” Some of the English dubs for the Ghibli films have been great, others have been annoying. The Secret World of Arrietty was not a weak dub because of the voice acting. The voice acting was fine. The dub was problematic because they changed the dialogue so much in key scenes that it interfered with the heart of the story. You may want to watch the original Japanese with subs, because you’re more likely to get a more accurate translation. (Pom Poko is another good example) I prefer subs, but a lot of my friends and family prefer dubs, so I end up watching both.

    Anyway, about the release of the movie: I’m excited! The US wasn’t too prompt to release The Secret World of Arrietty or From Up on Poppy Hill, so this is a refreshing surprise. I hope it plays in my city!

  • dan c

    why would you want to stare at words during a miyazaki film?

    • CG Animator

      Exactly! That’s why I like to watch a decent dub if its available. Even Miyazaki himself wants people to watch his films in whatever language they understand so they can actually watch the movie instead of reading a bunch of (most of the time awkwardly translated) subtitles.

      If you’re watching Dragonball or some made for TV anime where the animation is crap anyway, it doesn’t matter because there’s not much visually there. But Ghibli’s movies are so visually rich its better to watch them in your language if possible.

      • Haruna

        Dragonball Z is actually one of the more visually distinct animes.

    • Jon

      I have Ghibli’s “Grave of the Fireflies” on video, and to me it’s a completely different movie when you’re watching it in the native Japanese tongue vs. some American actors dubbing.

  • I liked Arrietty more than Poppy Hill myself (stronger characters, better music, prettier animation), but even disregarding that, it makes sense why the former got a wider release than the latter. Arrietty’s a family-friendly fantasy based on a well-known series of novels, pretty easy sell for Disney. Poppy Hill’s a realistic adaptation of an obscure manga primarily aimed at teenage girls (not the typical target audience of animated films in America) with a secondary audience nostalgic old Japanese people (not a major demographic over here), plus it deals with questions about incest that must have made Disney execs squirm and so they passed the film off to GKids, who have a lot less money for prints and advertising. For what its worth, Poppy Hill did turn out to be GKids’ highest grossing release yet, though it made a fraction of what the other Ghibli films that aren’t Earthsea have made in US theatrical release.

    • Funkybat

      I was surprised how un-engaged I was with Arrietty. I grew up watching “The Littles” which were basically a knockoff of the Borrowers, and generally am fascinated by stories of “hidden creatures living amongst unaware humans.” Something just didn’t click for me. I did (do to being given no option) see the dubbed version, but for once I feel like even if I had seen it in Japanese, the storytelling and character relationships weren’t quite what I expect from Ghibli. The story felt slight (no pun intended) and I was kind of surprised by what constituted the climax, I left the theater expecting more story, but also feeling like a lot of time had passed.

      Poppy Hill was something I knew nothing about going in, I had no idea it was an adaptation of an existing girls manga. I just know it felt a lot richer and more meaningful to me on a lot of levels, and the story was intruiging. It wasn’t Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, but it did feel like a great film. (I also agree the animation per se wasn’t super stunning, but the backgrounds were simply fantastic. I just kept staring at the world, while still caring about the characters!)

  • Crispy Walker

    I’d like this film to win an Oscar for Best Animated Feature simply to show the rest of Hollywood who thinks animation can only be about talking animals and slapstick human doofuses that they’re flat-ass wrong. As far as people bitching about the sub.vs.dub thing — that’s old and has been an issue with anime since its tiny little import-section beginnings. Everyone has a preference. I feel that with Ghibli’s films though, there’s usually so much happening on screen that I’d rather watch the dub and be able to give my full attention than watch the subtitles flash across the screen and make me lose focus. Disney has done a better job than anyone else importing anime with dubbing their Ghibli films. Sometimes the scripts are a little off, but typically, the voices are appropriate and well acted. I’d venture to say Spirited Away actually had the worst dubbing of them all — Chihiro’s voice actress was TERRIBLE, but was saved by the talents of the characters around her. People’s comments that it’s distracting that they recognize the voices is baseless — do you really believe the initial japanese releases are all by no-names? There’s a whole seiyuu community in Japan and they all have distinct voices that people recognize and even fan-girl over. You likely don’t though because you don’t speak the language and it all sounds the same to you. It’s a moot point. I mean hell, for this movie, the voice actor for the main character is the director of Evangelion.

  • hupto

    Indeed. Peter Bogdanovich often tells the story of how, when he was in Italy shooting DAISY MILLER, he would perform his impressions of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, etc., usually to blank stares. Finally, one of the crew took him aside and explained that in Italy all foreign films are shown dubbed and nobody knew what those actors actually sounded like. That in a nutshell is why the original track is always preferable.

  • People might look at his movies that did really well like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, or his “beloved family classics” like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service, and think that on there is where his heart lies. However, when I look at his family history and his expressed passions and his manga work and after visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum, it seems to me that his most personal film was Porco Rosso. Its all about the wonders of flight and airplanes and all of that, and Miyazaki consistently doodles himself as an anthropomorphic pig. It’s not my favourite film of his, but I can really see him and his happiness in it.

    So while The Wind Rises may seem like an anti-climactic note for him to bow out on relative to what’s popular with the market, it would be a very fitting note for him to bow out on for himself.

  • Patrick Drazen

    I think “Kaze Tachinu”, if it registers at all in America, will at least set conservatives’ hair on fire because it’s a kinda-sorta biopic about the inventor of the Zero

  • GES280

    I’m a bit wary of Disney pulling this off. when it comes right down to it they’re a children’s entertainment company, and I am very worried that they might make the dub of this serious and inspiring film reflect that fact.

  • Zmflavius

    I will say this much, while I generally greatly prefer subs to dubs, that in my experience, Ghibli dubs tend to be quite well done, possibly the best ones in the industry. Furthermore, if it is Miyazaki’s opinion that dubs should be watched whenever possible, then I suppose that the most polite option will be to watch the dubs then.