Hayao Miyazaki has announced his retirement. Again. The genius animator behind acclaimed classics such as My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Howl’s Moving Castle has kept his devout fan base on their toes with his brief hiatuses and semi-retirements, so much so that any allusion to Miyazaki’s stepping down should be taken with a pinch of salt.
However, Boro the Caterpillar looks set to truly be his final project as director – one he has reportedly been chewing over 20 years.
Miyazaki originally intended it to be a short film, an offering to the Ghibli Museum which celebrates his grand and influential work. Now, the film will become the feature-length crowning glory to his illustrious career and will be immortalised in the original museum for animators and filmmakers alike: cinema.
With initial aspirations of finishing the film before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics now looking unlikely – fellow Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki has said that this goal is simply not possible – it looks as though that film will be completed in 2021, by which time Miyazaki will be 80.
It’s hard to imagine his permanent retirement, but this time around all the signs point to Boro the Caterpillar being Miyazaki’s swansong. Given the acclaim of his purportedly final film The Wind Rises, fans of Ghibli can certainly expect the animation auteur to go out in style.
Published 22 May 2017
By Jack Godwin
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