Hayao Miyazaki ends retirement, intends to direct new animated feature film


Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from filmmaking back in 2013 with the release of The Wind Rises. That directing bug is strong, however, and he couldn’t completely step away from animation. Back in July 2015, Miyazaki said he’s directing Kemushi no Boro (Boro the Caterpillar), a 12-minute all-CG short film, his first foray into that medium. The short should be completed by the end of 2017.

The 75-year-old animation titan recently announced that he is no longer retired, and he has proposed a new animated feature that he would like to direct and release by 2021. This comes as Studio Ghibli gets set for the US release their latest film, Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle (a French, Belgian, Japanese co-production; the movie came out in June in France and September in Japan).

This announcement was made on NHK this weekend during a TV special titled Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki). Apparently Miyazaki wasn’t satisfied just directing a short film, which led him to propose a new full-length project. There are no plot details yet, and Studio Ghibli (I assume it’s going to be made at Ghibli) has not yet given it the green light. There are some reports that the feature film may be an expanded version of the Boro the Caterpillar short. We’ll need to wait for some confirmation by Ghibli to say definitively what Miyazaki has proposed.

2016 has been a rather grim time, and I’m not just talking about how divisive our politics have become. We’ve lost many great artists this year, like David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, and most recently Leonard Cohen. It’s a small consolation, and 2021 is some ways off, but this feels like such a welcome glimmer of light from one of the world’s greatest filmmakers.

[via The Film Stage]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.