In the Wind Rises, Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni.
Near sighted 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 designs.
While the subject is admittedly darker, the whimsically drawn animation is typically beautiful colour and eye candy action sequences.
It may be controversial to some members of the audience who find the film glorifying a man responsible for so many deaths; a last minute anti-war stance falls somewhat short.
The parallel love story is a sexist soapy melodrama that never takes off. What makes the film work, is the obvious affection MIyazaki the animator has for the story.
It's a visually intoxicating look at history filtered through the eyes of a genius....the animation is a non stop wonder and pleasure.
Check out the stand-out scene of the earthquake that does more in 70 seconds then 'Pompeii' does in 105 minutes. The earth undulates as if a dragon were beneath the surface.
I am willing to indulge the director in any direction he would like to take at 70 years of age,. as long as he animates with bright pastoral colours, clouds that float like ballerinas and clear, blue skies that envelope you like marshmallows.