Speaking recently with Entertainment Weekly, veteran producer and Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki provided some updates on the animation house’s upcoming feature How Do You Live?, the latest from Japanese auteur Hayao Miyazaki.
Based on the 1937 novel by Yoshino Genzaburo, How Do You Live? tells a coming-of-age story in which a young teenage boy confronts the reality of life after his father’s abrupt death, moving to live with his uncle and carving out on his own. Although the novel’s grounding in reality–seemingly continuing from Miyazaki’s latest feature, The Wind Rises–might immediately conjure thoughts of a film of quiet and contemplation, Suzuki called Live “a big, fantastical story.” Though it’ll no doubt be just that, don’t expect to sit down for a watch quite yet.
Though the process at Studio Ghibli is said to be unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Suzuki affirms that the process is painstaking and nuanced. “We are still hand-drawing everything… [coming] up with one minute of animation in a month. That means 12 months a year, you get 12 minutes worth of movie.” He recalled the eight animators that worked on Miyazaki’s classic My Neighbor Totoro, revealing that the How Do You Live? team is composed of “60 animators.”
“Actually, we’ve been working on this film for three years, so that means we have 36 minutes completed so far. We’re hoping it will finish in the next three years.” It would seem to confirm what we had a strong hunch of already; the Ghibli-Miyazaki discipline and attention to detail. Of course, Suzuki’s estimate is grounded in numbers and calculation (not to mention a master of his level just has a feel for this, after nearly 40 years), but to assume anything regarding Live‘s release would be a recipe for disappointment. Stay tuned for more details.
Suzuki also provided some news on Ghibli’s other feature in the works, this coming from GorÅ Miyazaki, Hayao’s son. GorÅ previously directed Ghibli’s 2011 film From Up on Poppy Hill, which saw a US release two years later. “GorÅ’s film is based on a book or story from England, and it’s a story about a very wise girl.” The younger Miyazaki’s film is also said to be “all done by computer-generated animation.”
I think I speak for most Miyazaki-faithful in saying that for two films of this magnitude, the wait is more than understood.
Studio Ghibli co-founder teases Hayao Miyazaki’s next ‘big, fantastical’ film [Entertainment Weekly]