The three men on the poster from right to left are Isao Takahata,… MoreThe three men on the poster from right to left are Isao Takahata, Toshio Suzuki, and Hayao Miyazaki. Takahata and Miyazaki started working together as animators in the mid-70s on Heidi for Japanese television. In the mid-80s they formed Studio Ghibli together. Then at the tail end of the 80s Suzuki came on board as a producer working with one or both of these men as well as serving other studio projects. Along the way Miyazaki and Takahata had creative differences and split. In this documentary we see and hear that Takahata is still often on Miyazaki's mind even though they rarely speak to each other, except through Suzuki. It is fun to witness Studio Ghibli's (and in general Japan's) appreciation of nature and calisthenics. The documentarians follow Miyazaki with warmth through his daily routines at work and occasionally at home, discovering lots of humor and bits of wisdom. This doc captures the process of making The Wind Rises, which is deeply personal for Miyazaki as it is a little bit about his father and a little bit about himself. For Miyazaki writing doesn't involve scripting dialogue and scenes, but drawing the storyboards. Also directing calls for him to make sure his animation staff stays true to his vision as well as giving notes to the voice over actors. This movie suggests that, contrary to reports in America, Miyazaki does not plan to retire entirely, so the young and old may still have the chance to see the imaginative stories that are born out of Miyazaki's dreams and madness.
I missed seeing this as part of the festivities for Batman's 75th… MoreI missed seeing this as part of the festivities for Batman's 75th anniversary at my local comics shop this past year. I was glad to see it turn up on Netflix recently. The uplifting stories of ordinary people inspired to live better lives based on the example of Batman, who has no superpowers, are wonderful. Some are given more attention than others. The philosophical talking heads could have been edited more selectively. Unfortunately, Brett Culp, the producer, cinematographer, editor, writer, and director of this doc spends an inordinate amount of time interviewing producer Michael Uslan. Uslan is responsible for producing, or initiating, the big-budget Batman films in Hollywood after not being satisfied with the joke made of Batman in the 60s TV show. Anyways, the film shows a bit of Batman history and several people doing good in this world. According to Common Sense Media, an alternative to the MPAA that I like, it is appropriate for kids 10 and older.