It’s been six years since the last movie from oscar-winning animation studio Studio Ghibli and although they just announced that two new films will be released later this year, followed by long-awaited theme park in 2022, there’s still a Hayao Miyazaki shaped hole in our lives. But have no fear! If you’re having withdrawal symptoms there are plenty of projects from the animators behind the studio to tide you over until their next groundbreaking release. Here are our favourites.
Yoshiharu Sato is the designer behind Studio Ghibli faves like My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso and The Secret World of Arrietty. But did you know that he has also spent the past ten years animating the story of Cassis and Arles, a decade-long series of adverts for French-style Japanese bread company, Francois? Probably not. Did we until about an hour ago? Of course we didn’t. Pieced together, the ads make up a beautifully heartwarming short film. Sato isn’t finished with the characters either, and plans to continue the sagas of their love story in the warm animation style reminiscent of Studio Ghibli.
How do you make anything in this world cuter? By adding cats, duh! After his work on the feline-filled movie Kiki’s Delivery Service, Studio Ghibli animator Katsuya Kondo was asked to bring the sleepy bundle of fur that is Konyara to life for the giant food corp, Nisshin Seifun. The ad uses a traditional Japanese sumi-e style of drawing, looks suspiciously like Totoro, and was so popular that two further adverts were commissioned in order to introduce viewers to Konyara’s babies. Kawaii. Did you know that meow in Japanese is ‘nyā’ and that that’s why nyan cat was called nyan cat? The more you know!
Oyaji no Imo no Kamisama
As if creating a decade-long love story wasn’t enough, Yoshiharu Sato has also been involved in a whole host of other projects over the years, including one for Shōchū brand, Satsuma Shiranami. The short stays true to the magic and spiritualism central to Studio Ghibli in this beautiful story with family at its heart.
Lawson x Studio Ghibli
In the wake of their double feature picture show announcement, the studio also released a clip of their latest collaboration with japanese convenience store chain Lawson. Everything about this advert is wholesome; from its soft pastel colour palette to the cat strutting through the car park at the end. It was animated by Osamu Tanabe, who is partly responsible for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and who just so happens to moonlight as a Lawson store employee. For real. True Studio Ghibli stans might notice the easter egg: the main character, Saki, is a grown up version of the little girl in the previous Lawson x Studio Ghibli advert from back in 2001. She was clearly so enamoured with her childhood konbini experience that she got a job there! Good for you, Saki.