Hayao Miyazaki is unretiring (again) to make one last Studio Ghibli film just because 'he wants to'

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Studio Ghibli co-founder, director and animator Hayao Miyazaki is reportedly coming out of retirement again to create one last feature-length film.

What it’s about: Miyazaki, who announced his retirement in 2018 — the latest of several cycles of retiring and returning — talked about the movie in a recent interview with The New York Times. He said it is based on “How Do You Live?”, a 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino.

  • The popular 1937 novel written by Yoshino Genzaburō is reportedly a Miyazaki favorite. The coming-of-age story revolves around a 15-year-old Tokyo boy who moves in with his uncle after his father dies. .

  • The film, whose animation was half-way finished in December of 2020, is slated to be around two hours long and will be directed by Toshio Suzuki, a veteran producer and colleague of Miyazaki’s. Suzuki said of the forthcoming project that he “recognizes himself in one of the characters, who is not human.”

Why he’s doing it: Miyazaki, now 80, has retired several times in his career. When asked why he was returning to direct his new film, he simply answered, “Because I want to.”

  • Miyazaki first retired in the late 1990s. He returned in 2002 to direct “Spirited Away,” which won the Academy Award for “Best Animated Feature.”

  • In 2013, he retired once again but returned to create “Earwig and the Witch” with his son, Goro, for the Ghibli Museum. Released in 2020, it was the studio’s first CGI film.

  • Miyazaki also announced his retirement in 2018. Despite his back-and-forth, he has directed 11 features over 34 years.

Featured Images via NHK WORLD-JAPAN

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