English-Language Voice Cast Revealed for Studio Ghibli's 'The Wind Rises'

The_Wind_Rises- Header ImageWhile we at G-S-T are among the most fervent supporters of Studio Ghibli, and purists in respect to the Japanese language track, we have never been fond of dubbed versions of their films. That said when the studio, largely supported by the Walt Disney company, goes all out on major league talent they really shoot for and grab big stars. Whether or not they are particularly right for their character is another matter but one thing is for sure, big names can be huge drawing power. Especially for a film that signals the end of the Miyazaki era.

Today we learn who will voice the dub for what is Miyazaki’s final animated feature. The Wind Rises, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in this epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world. A slew of A-list stars that include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, Werner Herzog, William H. Macy, lend their voices for the english-language version of Miyazaki’s spectacular final feature.

The English-language voice cast of The Wind Rises is directed by Gary Rydstrom, a seven-time Academy Award-winning sound designer (Saving Private Ryan, Titanic).  Rydstrom also directed the English-language versions of The Secret World of Arrietty and From Up on Poppy HillHere’s the breakdown of the starring cast for English-language version.

·         JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT lends his voice to Jiro Horikoshi, who harbors strong ambitions to create his own beautiful airplane. A bubbling mix of wild excitement, extreme focus, individualism, pride, realism and idealism, Jiro also has a cool and brilliant mind and is recognized for his talent.

·         JOHN KRASINSKI provides the voice of Honjo, Jiro’s college friend and fellow aviation engineer.

·         EMILY BLUNT voices Nahoko Satomi, a beautiful and cheerful girl who is a passenger on the same train as Jiro on the day of a natural disaster. Ten years later, they reunite.

·         MARTIN SHORT was tapped to portray Kurokawa, Jiro’s grumpy boss.

·         STANLEY TUCCI provides the voice of Caproni, an airplane creator known worldwide from the dawn of Italian aviation through the 1930s, who appears in Jiro’s dreams to stir up, advise and voice Jiro’s thoughts and emotions.

·         MANDY PATINKIN lends his voice to Hattori, the senior designer at Mitsubishi.

·         WERNER HERZOG voices Castorp, a mysterious visitor to Japan who encounters Jiro at a mountain resort.

·         WILLIAM H. MACY steps into the role of Satomi, Nahoko’s father.

·         MAE WHITMAN was called on to voice Kayo Horikoshi, Jiro’s younger sister, who adores him. Whitman also voices Kinu, Nahoko’s caretaker.

·         JENNIFER GREY provides the voice of Mrs. Kurokawa.

·         DARREN CRISS lends his voice to Katayama, a jovial junior engineering colleague of Jiro.

·         ELIJAH WOOD voices Sone, a studious engineering colleague of Jiro.

·         RONAN FARROW  is the voice of the Mitsubishi Employee.

With news that sunned the world, Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary animation veteran announced his retirement in September of this year. In his swan song The Wind Rises, Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted and unable to be a pilot, he becomes one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers, experiencing key historical events in an epic tale of love, perseverance and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world. The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo.

We saw the wonderful dialog-free trailer last month so expect the new version, with contributions from the above cast, early next year. The Wind Rises will see its stateside non-festival theatrical run starting next year on February 21st, 2014 and then expanding wide on February 28th under the Touchstone Pictures banner.