Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that the Oscar-nominated animated drama The Wind Rises is notable for being anime legend Hayao Miyazaki's final feature-length film. The movie, dubbed in English for American audiences, may be animated, but like many other Studio Ghibli productions, it's not really for very little kids; it's a poignant and contemplative chronicle of a famous Japanese engineer who was responsible for designing the infamous zero bomber. Because of the historical setting, there are real-life disasters and catastrophes depicted in the movie, like the Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and of course World War II. There's also an upsetting subplot about the engineer's beloved, who suffers from tuberculosis, and many, many scenes of men smoking cigarettes (as was customary in that era). Because of the themes and the mature subject matter, this is an animated film best for inquisitive older tweens and teens.
Jiro falls in love, holds hands with, kisses, and marries Naoko. It's implied they make love, but all that is shown is them getting under covers together and embracing.
Some scary scenes of an earthquake taking a train off course and causing mass destruction and loss of life. A fire sweeps through the country and also wreaks havoc on the land and people. People are injured and shown weeping and crying (especially kids) for help. It's clear that the zero dogfighter planes (and other planes) are used in war to drop bombs. Planes crash during testing. An important character dies of a serious illness (off camera).
Infrequent exclamations and insults: "stupid," "idiot," "damn," "mackerel," "married to an airplane."
The overarching message of the story is a beautiful one: never give up on your dreams. If you give yourself over to your dreams -- with hard work, discipline, ambition, and dedication -- they can come true. The other message that's wonderfully reinforced is that work should not be your only outlet. To work hard, you should also have people you love to come home to, or your life won't have any balance or beauty. You need people to share your dreams with -- both in a professional and a personal manner. The movie is also a big plug for engineers: "Engineers turn dreams into reality," a famous aeronautical engineer tells the protagonist.
Mitsubishi is mentioned as one of the rival companies to make war planes.
Drugs / Tobacco /
The main characters and several of his friends and acquaintances smoke a lot and often ask for cigarettes and discuss the differences between Japanese and German brands. The protagonist smokes in the presence of his ailing young wife.