Hayao Miyazaki, Legendary Animator, Hints at Return to Feature Film Making


Hayao Miyazaki (Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock)

Legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki has hinted about a return to feature film making.

Speaking on an NHK television program, Miyazaki talked about turning "Boro The Caterpillar" ("Kemushi no Boro"), a CG short he has been making for the Studio Ghibli museum in Tokyo, into a feature film.

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He said that he has shared a proposal with Toshio Suzuki, veteran producer at Studio Ghibli, which has been Miyazaki’s creative home for three decades. "I haven't said anything to my wife yet," Miyazaki confessed. "When I do, though, I'm ready to die in the middle (of production)." No formal announcement about production or release date has been made.

Now 75, Miyzaki announced his retirement from feature film-making in September 2013, following the summer release of his last feature to date, the World War II-themed The Wind Rises.

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On the program, Suzuki said that Miyazaki has been "battling with CG" in the new project, a departure from the hand-drawn style of animation he used throughout his career. "Miyazaki is a person who will keep making films until he dies," Suzuki commented. "Ghibli will continue as long as Miyazaki continues to make films."

There was a five-year gap between The Wind Rises and Miyazaki’s previous film as a director, the 2009 Ponyo. If Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli work at their regular pace the new film would appear in 2021, when the director turns 80.

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Among Miyazaki's many honors is an Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievement, presented at the 6th Annual Governors Awards ceremony in November 2014.

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