Can you believe it?! I don’t know if I do?! Reports are going around that Studio Ghibli has re-opened its doors, started hiring a new team of animators, and will soon start working on a brand new project. It was massive, heartbreaking news a fear years ago when legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement (after finishing The Wind Rises in 2013) and then subsequently the studio he helped start, Studio Ghibli, decided to stop making new films and instead focus on monetizing their old filmography. In the last few years, Miyazaki kept himself busy by making an animated short film for the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. But now the studio is back from the dead and Miyazaki has a new idea for a film, which is what this is about.
The news comes directly from Studio Ghibli, with a translation and more info from "Buta Connection" on Facebook. They explain that Ghibli has announced the "reopening of its production department" in order to begin development on the new Miyazaki feature. They are recruiting new staff, with applications already open, and are looking at training then working "for a period of 6 months, before moving gradually into the production of the film which is still not known." Here’s the full translated memo posted by Buta Connection:
Le site officiel du studio Ghibli donne des nouvelles du nouveau film de Hayao Miyazaki.
Dans son bulletin d…
This is pretty much all we know for now. There’s no information about what the project is or what it will be about, but that’s likely to come in the future when they make another formal announcement. It’s only very exciting to know that Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are back, which seems like a miracle. Only a few years ago we wrote about how "Hayao Miyazaki Doesn’t Seem Hopeful About Studio Ghibli’s Future", saying that "I think we will not be making any feature films to be shown in theaters [anymore]." And that was the decision and announcement the studio eventually made, shutting down production for the time being. Of course, anything can happen, and with renewed interest in a film it’s fine for them to start the engines again.
I’m very excited to hear about this even though we know so little! It makes me happy to know that Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are back in business again. Obviously, as reported during the shut down, they have scaled back business and are operating more as an indie studio than anything. I am also very curious to learn about the project. Someone randomly stopped me at a cafe and commented on my Totoro shirt to tell me they’re making a My Neighbor Totoro sequel, but I can’t find any actual news about that online. But whatever it is, Miyazaki is obviously very passionate about it and has a new story to tell that will resonate with these times.