Let’s be honest, movie fans, it’s been a tough couple of weeks. Many would even go so far as to say that 2016 has been a thoroughly terrible year, and I’d be hard-pressed to disagree. However, during times of distress and political unrest, there’s one message I’ve heard repeated over and over again: this is the time for artists and storytellers to roll up their sleeves and get to work. It’s easy to fall into despair when things look bleak, but it’s during times of hardship that people sorely need diverse voices to speak out in the media.
Though the path ahead appears dark and desolate, there is a light in distance that movie lovers can look forward to and rejoice. World renown storyteller Hayao Miyazaki announced on Sunday during a television special that he would be coming out of retirement to direct his thirteenth animated feature film. Though he had officially retired from feature film-making three years ago after the release of THE WIND RISES, Miyazaki had been working on a CGI animated short for the Ghibli Museum called KEMUSHI NO BORO (Boro the Caterpillar). The short itself, a story about a tiny caterpillar, won’t be completed for about another year and will be screened exclusively at the Ghibli Museum. However, Miyazaki stated that he was unsatisfied with the project as just a short, and presented a project proposal for a feature-length film back in August. He estimated that the film would take roughly five years to make, making him 80 years old at the time of the film’s completion. This is clearly a passion project for the world-famous director, as he has been reportedly planning the story for almost 20 years. Though the film has not been officially greenlit, Miyazaki has started animation work on the project anyway, and plans on creating storyboards for 100 cuts of footage.
This announcement, though delightful for many longtime Studio Ghibli fans, comes as no surprise to many of Miyazaki’s peers. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki commented that Miyazaki will draw storyboards until he the day he dies. As someone who appreciates animated films and the impact anime has left on pop culture and visual storytelling, this is incredibly uplifting news, even if the film has yet to be greenlit. Miyazaki’s films rank not only among not only the best animated films I’ve seen, but some of the best films I’ve ever seen, full stop! In a time where we need the voices of artists to convey truth, honestly, and hope, hearing that this storyteller will be returning to what he does best gives me hope that the years to come will lift us far above what 2016 had to offer us.
What do you think of the news? Are you excited for Miyazaki’s return? Be sure to let us know @TheMovieChickk!
Can’t wait for Miyazaki’s next feature? Check out THE WIND RISES on Amazon.com!