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Hayao Miyazaki Works on Proposed New Anime Feature Film

posted on 2016-11-13 08:00 EST
Director presents proposal for feature while working on CG short for Ghibli Museum

In the NHK television special Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki) on Sunday, acclaimed anime director Hayao Miyazaki reported that he wants to return to making an anime feature film, after retiring from directing feature films three years ago. He has been working on "Kemushi no Boro" (Boro the Caterpillar), a planned CG short for the Ghibli Museum.

However, the special revealed that Miyazaki was not satisfied with the CG project as a short, and he presented a project proposal for a feature-length film this past August. He also noted that if a feature would take him five years to make, he would be 80 years old at the end. In the schedule listed in his proposal, Miyazaki suggested that the film could be done by 2019, before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki commented that Miyazaki will draw storyboards until he dies, and another staffer dryly noted that this would make the movie a huge hit.

Despite not officially receiving a green-light for the feature film, Miyazaki decided to start animation work on the project anyway. He plans on creating storyboards for about 100 cuts of footage.

In spite of his earlier retirement announcements, Miyazaki confirmed that he will continue animating shorts for the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. The 12-minute "Kemushi no Boro" short will not be completed for about another year and will be screened exclusively at Ghibli Museum. Miyazaki planned the story for almost 20 years and describes the short as "a story of a tiny, hairy caterpillar, so tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers."

Miyazaki rose to prominence in the 1970s on such television anime series as Lupin III, Future Boy Conan, and Sherlock Hound. He directed his first feature film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, in 1979. He then adapted the beginning of his Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga into an anime film in 1984, before he and fellow director Isao Takahata founded Studio Ghibli.

With Ghibli, Miyazaki helmed the feature films Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, and finally, 2013's The Wind Rises. He also co-produced Takahata's directorial efforts and directed smaller projects such as the "experimental film" On Your Mark and Ghibli Museum Shorts such as Mei and the Kitten Bus and Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess.

Spirited Away remains the highest earning film ever at the Japanese box office, 15 years after it opened in 2001. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2003.


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