In Toronto, May is the month of both the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) and Anime North. To celebrate, we are taking a closer look at Japan’s most famous animation house, Studio Ghibli, through two films: Mami Sunada’s 2013 documentary, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, and Hayao Miyazaki’s final feature film, The Wind Rises.
In Kingdom, Sunada is granted rare behind-the-scenes access to the animation studio during the completion of Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya and Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. An aviation fanatic (Studio Ghibli is named after an Italian war plane, and flight is heavily featured in films such as Porco Rosso), Miyazaki chose the inventor of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter plane as the subject of his final film.
As The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness shows us the daily life and work of Mr. Miyazaki and his colleagues at Ghibli, The Wind Rises offers a glimpse into Miyazaki’s personal philosophy, and questions how an artist can reconcile his ardent pacifism with his passion for military aviation.
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