Acclaimed animation director Hayao Miyazaki is coming out of retirement for a new feature-length project, Boro the Caterpillar, it was announced by Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki during a pre-Oscars interview this week.
Hayao Miyazaki, who made Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro, announced his retirement in 2013 after he finished The Wind Rises. Rumors that Miyazaki would be coming out of retirement started circulating in November.
Suzuki was promoting The Red Turtle, which is up for an Academy Award, when he confirmed rumors that Studio Ghibli greenlit Miyazaki‘s next feature-length animation.
“Right now in Tokyo, he’s putting all his effort into making it,” Suzuki told Kyodo news.
According to Miyazaki, Boro the Caterpillar is “a story of a tiny, hairy caterpillar, so tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers.”
Miyazaki has been planning Boro the Caterpillar for over 20 years. In an interview for the special documentary, Hayao Miyazaki: The Man Who Is Not Done, which aired in Japan, Miyazaki said he would “continue making anime until I die.” He said he had been working on a 12-minute CG short film called Kemushi no Boro aka Boro the Caterpillar, which would work better as a feature film. The director said the project would take time and financial backing to finish but revealed that he had pitched the film to Studio Ghibli’s producers.
Here is a clip of the short film:
The Boro the Caterpillar short is expected later this year. Studio Ghibli hopes to finish the Boro the Caterpillar feature by 2019, in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.