Legendary Animator Hayao Miyazaki Will Direct His First 3D Animated Film
Hayao Miyazaki, the mastermind behind Studio Ghibli and the director of films like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Wind Rises, has been viewed by many as the last bastion of traditional, hand-drawn animation. How fans will react when they learn that he’s planning to make his first entirely computer generated short film is unknown, but we predict “generally bummed out, but maybe intrigued.”
The news comes to us from The Film Stage, who report that the short will feature a “hairy caterpillar” in the lead role and that the project will take three years to complete. The finished short will be screened at Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, Japan.
Some fans may view this as Miyazaki giving in to the modern methods of animation that all but wiped traditionally animated movies from the cinematic landscape. But with Studio Ghibli in all kinds of financial troubles that will prevent the company from releasing a new feature-length film any time in the future, it’s heartening to see a 74-year old master filmmaker refusing to give up and try something totally new instead. The silver lining here is that Miyazaki is not going to retire (as was rumored some time back). Even if he spends the rest of his life making CG shorts about bugs, his movies will always be worth watching.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor and check out the great documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness on Netflix, which takes you inside Studio Ghibli and into the mind of Miyazaki himself. After all, it’s going to be another three years before anyone sees their next filmmaking effort.