Disney and Studio Ghibli announced at the Toronto International Film Festival Wednesday that Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises, will have an Oscar-qualifying run this November. The news follows Miyazaki’s recent announcement that he will be retiring.
The animated film, which follows the true story of Japanese aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi, will open in New York and Los Angeles from November 8-14. A limited release will begin on February 21, 2014 in the United States, and will expand to more theaters on February 28. The film will be released in the US under Disney’s Touchstone Pictures.
The Wind Rises will be faced against Pixar’s Monsters University and DreamWorks’ The Croods and Turbo for the “Best Animated Feature” award. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen, though unreleased, is also expected to be nominated in this category.
If Miyazaki takes home an Oscar for The Wind Rises, it will be his second in the animated feature category. Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001) won the award (though he did not attend the ceremony), and he was nominated again for his 2004 feature, Howl’s Moving Castle.
Miyazaki’s latest film debuted to mostly positive reviews at the Venice Film Festival. The film then moved on to play at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. The film recently opened in Japan as well, and according to Animation Magazine, it received a 13% box office boost after news of Miyazaki’s retirement, despite having been released two weeks ago. The film has earned an estimated $97 million at the Japanese box office, and is currently Japan’s top-earning film.
Miyazaki held a press conference in Tokyo last Friday, confirming that The Wind Rises will be his last animated film.
“I have to put the pencil down and just go home.” – Hayao Miyazaki