Hayao Miyazaki Is Coming Out of Retirement

By  · Published on November 15th, 2016

Everyone Rejoice!

For one more film…

Art by Juggernaut-Art

It has been kind of a rough week, but that does not mean that good things are over. Despite announcing his retirement from feature length filmmaking back in 2013 following the release of his 11th film, The Wind Rises, it looks like legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is coming back for one final full length film. The computer generated short film he was working on for the Studio Ghibli Museum, entitled “Boro the Caterpillar,” was reportedly not turning out as he liked so he proposed that it be turned into a feature length film. As with any Miyazaki film, the premise as he has described it sounds adorable and intriguing: “a story of a tiny, hairy caterpillar, so tiny that it may be easily squashed between your fingers.”

Miyazaki is planning/hoping for the film to be completed by 2019, just before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, even though it has not been officially greenlit yet. It would be hard to imagine anyone turning down a new Miyazaki film, however. The filmmaker has been called the master of Japanese animation (and all animation in general) and has been making films since the 1980s. Critics and audiences alike have fallen in love with his gorgeous animation style, which draws heavily from our relationship with nature, and the strong feminist themes presented in many of his films.

He is well known for his earlier works such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke (my personal favorite), and Kiki’s Delivery Service, but Spirited Away is probably what he is best known for. Released all the way back in 2001, Spirited Away tells the story of a 10-year old girl who enters into a strange spirit world in order to free her parents and herself. The film has been universally acclaimed, is still the highest grossing film in Japan, and became the first and only hand-drawn and Japanese animated film to win the Best Animated Feature Academy Award. To this day, Spirited Away holds up as one of the best films of the century. Just ask the critics who voted it as the fourth best film of the 21st century (so far) back in August.

But, the Miyazaki news does not stop there, readers. Just yesterday Fathom Events and GKIDS announced that Miyazaki’s classic Spirited Away would be returning to theaters in honor of its 15th anniversary. The film will be rereleased for two nights, English dubbed on December 4th and with English subtitles on 5th, in over 400 theaters nationwide. In addition to the Spirited Away screening, an exclusive Studio Ghibli short called “Ghiblies: Episode 2” will be shown. The short features several silly vignettes and caricatures of some Studio Ghibli staff going about their days. Click here to learn more details and purchase tickets for the event. I am not even a little bit ashamed to admit I purchased my tickets the moment I found out. Hopefully Spirited Away is returning to a theater near you, but if it is not, let us all take comfort in knowing that another Miyazaki film is on its way.

Related Topics: