Could a new Miyazaki movie be on its way?

The Studio Ghibli maestro who just can’t retire is back at the drawing board with a caterpillar in his sights.


Rebecca Speare-Cole

Legendary Studio Ghibli director, Hayao Miyazaki, has hinted – hinted! – that he may once more coming out of retirement. The Academy Award winner, long-dubbed the ‘Walt Disney of Japan’, has been saying he will retire from filmmaking since 1998. Princess Mononoke was supposedly going be his last movie. Six movies later, he proclaimed that ‘This time I am quite serious,’ on finishing the 2013 World War Two-era biopic, The Wind Also Rises. He even held a 90-minute retirement press conference ffs.

Yet speaking on an NHK television programme in Japan, it sounds like he’ll be back – much to the undoubted excitement of Studio Ghibli fans worldwide. He has been working on a CG short, Kemushi no Boro or Boro The Caterpillar, for the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. The film is based on a story he has been developing for 20 odd years about a tiny caterpillar that ‘may be easily squished between your fingers’. According to the NHK television special, Miyazaki is not satisfied with the resulting short and has proposed to extend it into a fully fledged feature film.

During the programme named, ‘The Man who is not Done: Hayao Miyazaki’, he spoke about sharing a proposal with Studio Ghibli veteran producer, Toshio Suzuki, saying, “I haven’t said anything to my wife yet… When I do, though, I’m ready to die in the middle [of production]”. Nothing concrete has been established. There has been no studio announcement or official release date confirmed. But the 75-year-old has estimated that the film will take an estimated five years to complete. (Perfect timing, incidentally, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.)

With Suzuki’s tantalising comments about Miyazaki as ‘a person who will keep making films until he dies’ and storyboards apparently underway, we have fingers and toes crossed for one final animated masterpiece from the Studio Ghibli godhead himself.

Published 14 Nov 2016

Suggested For You

Check out these stunning rare Japanese posters of Studio Ghibli films

By Little White Lies

Gorgeous original artwork spanning three decades of the iconic animation studio.

The Wind Rises

By David Jenkins

Hayao Miyazaki’s brilliant swansong is a complex, swooning melodrama on aviation and the caveats of creativity.

review LWLies Recommends

Hiromasa Yonebayashi: ‘The history of Studio Ghibli is also a history of myself’

By David Jenkins

Meet the director of the beautiful new film widely rumoured to be Studio Ghibli’s last hurrah.

Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.