We have good and bad news not he Studio Ghibli front. The good news is that “retired” animation master Hayao Miyazaki is making a new short film, with the primary character being a caterpillar. And, surprisingly, it seems that the short could be the animator’s first all-CG work. There are two bits of bad news, however. One is that this short may take up to three years to complete. And, second, you’ll have to travel to Japan to see it.
Variety and a number of other outlets report that Miyazaki is at work on a new ten-minute short film for the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. And if past patterns hold true, the museum is the only place we will be able to see the short.
(Miyazaki has made museum-only works before, most notably the short My Neighbor Totoro sequel called Mei and the Kittenbus, which has been shown at the Ghibli Museum since 2002. That short has also played the US a couple of times, but has never been released to home video.)
We know that the subject of the short is a fuzzy caterpillar named Boro, and that the short will make extensive use of CG, and may be entirely CG. Anime News Network reports Goro Miyazaki saying at a recent event,
Now, Hayao Miyazaki is trying to make a short with CG to screen at the Ghibli Museum… He gets bored when his goal is maintaining [the Ghibli Museum], so he needs things to fiddle around with.
And THR reports that the elder Miyazaki said at an event over this past weekend,
I have just begun work on a new anime. It’s a wonderful project. I’m working with some of my usual staff, as well as some staff from the computer graphics world.
Studio Ghibli films have used CG in significant ways for past features, with computer-generated effects helping to add effects to hand-drawn animation, often in a fairly invisible manner. We’re excited to see what an all-CG Miyazaki film might look like.
And, with regards to retirement, keep in mind that the director said last year,
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I intend to work until the day I die. I retired from feature-length films but not from animation.