Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has singlehandedly redefined the medium of animated cinema as an art form to be taken seriously. While many of his more popular projects deal with subjects that are as fantasy-oriented as they are grounded in reality, all spun together in a web of sustainable cosmologies deeply rooted in the beauty and integrity of nature, in recent years his stories have turned to real life for inspiration. In this vein comes The Wind Rises. The film tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, a Japanese fighter plane, during World War II. In a twist typical of Miyazaki’s production house, Studio Ghibli, Jiro’s character is melded with that of Tatsuo Hori, who wrote the short story on which the film is based. The result is not only one of the greatest animated films of all time, but a modern classic of cinema, period.