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Hayao Miyazaki's New Ghibli Museum Anime Short Features Joe Hisaishi Music

posted on by Egan Loo
"Boro the Caterpillar" is director's 1st anime in 5 years; comedian Tamori voices entire soundtrack

The "Kemushi no Boro" (Boro the Caterpillar) short, director Hayao Miyazaki's first work since 2013's The Wind Rises feature, premiered in a preview screening at the Ghibli Museum on Wednesday. The short ends with a piano piece by Miyazaki's longtime collaborator Joe Hisaishi.

Comedian Tamori is responsible for the short's entire soundtrack except for Hisaishi's song during the final scene. Tamori's contributions include the voice of the titular caterpillar and all the sound effects. (Tamori and singer Akiko Yano also used just their vocal cords to create the entire soundtrack, including voices, music, and sound effects, for Miyazaki's earlier 2006 Ghibli Museum short "House Hunting." Similarly, Miyazaki used human voices to create many sound effects for machines and even the earthquake in The Wind Rises.)

Miyazaki conceived, wrote, and directed the short, which has a run time of 14 minutes and 20 seconds. The short centers around Boro, a recently hatched caterpillar as he awakens with fresh eyes and takes his first steps into a world filled with friends and enemies. Miyazaki attempts to depict the world as seen by a bug, starting from when it is not even one millimeter long.

Before the preview screening, museum director Kazuki Anzai relayed some comments from Miyazaki on the short. Miyazaki has been mulling over the idea for this film since grade school 67 years ago, and now he has finally made it. He also expressed his gratitude to Tamori, saying that if it were not for Tamori, this film would not have been finished.

Miyazaki remembered that when he was taught about the photosynthesis of plants in grade school, he became fascinated in how he can see this in action. He wondered if a caterpillar can see the particles in the air, if leaves taste like jelly when it nibbles on them, and if wasps look like the "unmanned drones that buzz around modern battlefields" to a caterpillar. So, he made a movie like that.

The short will officially debut at the museum's Saturn Theater from March 21 to the end of August. From March 14 to August, the museum is also hosting an exhibition of the imageboards that Miyazaki and the other artists created for the short.

Miyazaki is also working on the Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?) feature film, whose title is derived from writer Genzaburō Yoshino's 1937 masterpiece of the same name. Miyazaki expects it will take three to four years to complete the film. Suzuki described the film in November as a hand-drawn "action-adventure fantasy."

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 most recently, 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, which opened in 2001, remains the highest-earning film ever at the Japanese box office. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2003.

Sources: Oricon News, Comic Natalie

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