Miyazaki’s first film in five years is making its grand début this spring.
Earlier today, the official Studio Ghibli Museum website announced that Hayao Miyazaki’s Kemushi no Boro (Boro the Caterpillar) will première at the museum on March 21. The CGI film is Miyazaki’s first feature since The Wind Rises hit theaters in 2013.
The feature was originally slated to open in July 2017, according to Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki. The film was delayed, though, and last month, Ghibli chairman Koji Hoshino stated that he “hoped to see” the film launch this year.
The film runs for 14 minutes and 20 seconds. Miyazaki is credited with the original concept, as well as the writer and director. Much like all other Ghibli Museum features, this will screen exclusively at the facility’s theater.
Kemushi no Boro revolves around a caterpillar named Boro, who awakens into life, to discover that the world is bustling friends and enemies alike.
With Kemushi no Boro complete, Miyazaki is working on “action-adventure fantasy” film Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?). This is to be his final film. He had previously retired after 2013’s The Wind Rises opened.
In November 2016, we reported that Miyazaki expressed a desire to return to movie production. In NHK special Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki), it was revealed that Miyazaki was working on CGI short Kemushi no Boro. He wasn’t satisfied with the format, though, and presented a project proposal for a feature-length film in August 2016.
Miyazaki commented on the matter, stating that if the feature would take five years to make, he’d be 80 by the end of production. Though Miyazaki retired from feature films after 2013’s The Wind Rises, he continued to work as a director on shorts and features for the Studio Ghibli Museum.
In May 2017, Studio Ghibli put out a hiring call for new background artists and in-between animators for the feature. In February, we reported that Miyazaki was doing prep work for a new feature film, with the aim of having it in theaters by the 2020 Olympics. Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki noted at the time that “[r]ight now in Tokyo, he’s putting all his effort into making it [the feature].”