The official website of the Ghibli Museum announced on Tuesday that Hayao Miyazaki‘s “Kemushi no Boro” (Boro the Caterpillar) CG short is now slated to debut at the museum on March 21. It is the first work Miyazaki has directed since 2013’s The Wind Rises feature.
Miyazaki conceived, wrote, and directed the short, which has a run time of 14 minutes and 20 seconds. The short centers around a recently hatched caterpillar named Boro as he awakens with fresh eyes and takes his first steps into a world filled with friends and enemies.
Studio Ghibli chairperson Koji Hoshino revealed last month that he “hopes to see” the short debut in 2018. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki previously stated that the short would debut at the Ghibli Museum in July 2017, although it was since delayed.
Miyazaki is also working on the Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?) feature film, whose title is derived from writer Genzaburō Yoshino’s 1937 masterpiece of the same name. Miyazaki expects it will take three to four years to complete the film. Suzuki described the film in November as a hand-drawn “action-adventure fantasy.”
In the Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki) special that aired in November 2016, Miyazaki reported that he wants to return to making an anime feature film after “Kemushi no Boro.” According to the special, Miyazaki was not satisfied with doing just the CG short, and he presented a project proposal for a feature-length film in August 2016.
Miyazaki rose to prominence in the 1970s on such television anime series as Lupin III, Future Boy Conan, and Sherlock Hound. He directed his first feature film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, in 1979. He then adapted the beginning of his Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga into an anime film in 1984, before he and fellow director Isao Takahata founded Studio Ghibli.
With Ghibli, Miyazaki helmed the feature films Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and most recently, 2013’s The Wind Rises. He also co-produced Takahata’s directorial efforts and directed smaller projects such as the “experimental film” On Your Mark and Ghibli Museum Shorts such as Mei and the Kitten Bus and Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess.
Spirited Away, which opened in 2001, remains the highest-earning film ever at the Japanese box office. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2003.