Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises is blazing the media circuit this season, between controversy over its delicate, tacit treatment of WWII morality and Oscar buzz placing it neck-and-neck with Disney’s forthcoming Frozen. The film’s certainly a substantial, if noticeably burdened, delight, but let’s not forget that Studio Ghibli has one more treat up its sleeve this year. The Japanese animation house’s other principal veteran, Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) makes his return after 14 years with The Tale of Princess Kaguya, based on the Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.
With the film getting its Japanese release later this month, the film’s first full trailer now gives us a taste of Takahata’s often fluid style this time around. While not as childishly drawn as his last film, My Neighbors the Yamadas, it still depicts its story through wispy, incomplete sketches. That’s not a knock, as they look just as lovely as some of the studio’s more intricately animated images. It may never escape us that we’re watching a handdrawn film, but that’s quite likely by intention, its style mirroring the minimalist early years of animation, while simultaneously spinning fresh new work for a medium of animation that’s been sorely neglected as of late. It’d be some surprise if Disney leaped after this one, it not having as obviously gorgeous a look as The Wind Rises, but there loss could likely be GKIDS’ gain. In any case, look for this dainty treat to make its way to theaters sometime next year.