British Animated Film “When the Wind Blows” Portraying the Threat of Nuclear War: Japanese Trailer Featuring David Bowie’s Theme Song, New Still Images, and Comment from Ghibli’s Mr. Suzuki Released

when the wind blows Japan

The Japanese dubbed version of the animated film “When the Wind Blows,” produced in the UK in 1986 and released in Japanese theaters in 1987, will be re-released starting August 2nd.

A Japanese version trailer featuring David Bowie’s theme song “When the Wind Blows,” ten new still images, and a comment from Studio Ghibli’s Toshio Suzuki have been unveiled.

This work, originally a graphic novel of the same name by author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, known for “The Snowman” and “Father Christmas,” was adapted into a film with a comic strip-like style. Directed by Jimmy T. Murakami, a Japanese-American who lost relatives to the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, the Japanese dubbed version was overseen by director Nagisa Oshima. The film became a significant topic of conversation, featuring Shigeru Muroi and Haruko Kato as the voices of the main couple, Jim and Hilda.

The Japanese dubbed trailer was newly created for this re-release. It begins with “HILDA’s DREAM,” a song by former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters, and depicts the peaceful daily life of Jim and Hilda in a pastoral setting.

However, their tranquility is shattered by a radio announcement that an enemy missile has been launched towards their country, prompting the couple to hurriedly take shelter inside their makeshift home bunker.

As David Bowie’s theme song “When The Wind Blows” plays, the trailer showcases symbolic scenes of the devastation caused by the atomic bomb.


The film employs several experimental techniques, including live-action shots of rubble exposed to the blast to realistically convey the impact of the atomic bomb. One notable scene, unique to the film and not found in the original work, shows Hilda blowing on a dandelion, transforming into a butterfly and flying away with the seeds, symbolizing life amidst the harsh reality.

Toshio Suzuki, who was the editor-in-chief of Animage magazine at the time, dedicated 14 pages including the cover to a special feature on “When the Wind Blows” in the August 1987 issue when it was first released in Japan. Reflecting on this, Suzuki provided a comment. The film will be screened nationwide starting August 2nd, including at Shinjuku Musashinokan.

Toshio Suzuki (Studio Ghibli Producer) Comment:

“I remember two things vividly. One was the extensive special feature we did in Animage magazine.

We also wrote articles on nuclear power, which was quite a bold move at the time, and that issue sold out in three days.

The other is John Mills, the voice actor in the UK version. He was the father of Hayley Mills, whom I adored since my childhood.”

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