Ghibli Museum to Debut 'Chū-Zumō' Anime in January

posted on by Egan Loo
Hayao Miyazaki writes short based on folktale about sumo-wrestling mice

The Ghibli Museum has announced that it will premiere a new 13-minute anime short called "Chū-Zumō" in its Dosei-za theater on January 3. Oscar-winning director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Spirited Away, Ponyo) planned and scripted the short based on the Japanese folktale Nezumi no Sumō (Mice Sumo). ("Chū" is the onomatopoeic word in Japanese for the sound of a mouse.)

The story begins once upon a time when Jii and Baa ("Gramps" and "Granny") were living deep in the mountains. They spent their weary days climbing up and down the mountain fields. One evening, Jii went outside and saw mice heading somewhere unknown. When he quietly followed them, he discovered that the mice were performing sumo wrestling.

Akihiko Yamashita, the character designer of Giant Robo and an assistant animation director on Ponyo, storyboarded and directed "Chū-Zumō," while Manto Watanobe (Ghiblies, Pom Poko) scored the music. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki had said in 2008 that Miyazaki was planning anime shorts for the Ghibli Museum, and the director had already indicated back then that a story about sumo-wrestling mice would be good to do. The short will run in the Dosei-za theater until February 28.


Image © 2010 Studio Ghibli

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