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Hayao Miyazaki is coming out of retirement

Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli is beloved by cinephile purists worldwide for its commitment to hand-drawn animation, but now we have to consider how much of that was because the boss man didn’t know how to use the software. The Daily Dot reports that legendary animator and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki—who received a lifetime achievement award Oscar in 2014—is indeed coming out of retirement.

That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, though, considering the 76-year-old Miyazaki began teasing new projects mere months after officially retiring in 2013. (He threatened to retire multiple times in the decades before that, but didn’t follow through.) He’s the Steven Soderbergh of animation in that respect.

The subject matter of the project shouldn’t be much of a surprise to dedicated Ghibli-watchers, either. Based on a report published in Kotakulast fall, Miyazaki is presumably hard at work on Kemushi No Boro (Boro The Caterpillar), a feature-length version of a computer-generated 3-D short film Miyazaki made in 2015 after learning how to use animation software for the first time.

Miyazaki’s return was confirmed during a pre-Oscars event last night for the Studio Ghibli co-production The Red Turtle, which is up for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. At the event, producer Toshio Suzuki said of Miyazaki, “right now in Tokyo, he’s putting all his effort into making [the feature],” which Suzuki will produce. Studio Ghibli has yet to officially confirm whether the feature Suzuki is referring to is the previously alluded to Boro The Caterpillar, but the goal is to have the film done in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

The short version of Boro The Caterpillar will debut at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo this summer. According to Miyazaki, it’s “a story of a tiny, hairy caterpillar, so tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers.” You can watch clips of the short below.



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