Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Year Released: 2013
Chronicle of the life of aeronautical engineer/dreamer Jirô (voiced by Hideaki Anno) as he works tirelessly on new designs, falls in love with a young lady with tuberculosis (who you just know is going to die in the third act) and builds the Mitsubishi Zero plane (which would later be used to attack American forces). As vivid as Miyazaki's imagination is - and the sequences with Italian engineer Caproni strike me as having a Felliniesque influence - and as astounding as his team's animation skills are, centering a movie around an ineffectual engineer character is not exactly recommended: his delivery is flat and he seems unfazed by anything, particularly not his wife's sickness (which is intended to provide the emotional soul of the movie). The sights and sounds are wondrous; the 'human' and historical elements significantly less so - not a desirable end to a world-class filmmaker's career.