Studio Ghibli Offers Update on Hayao Miyazaki’s Next “Big, Fantastical” Film; 36 Minutes Have Been Completed So Far

Not long after Hayao Miyazaki announced he was retiring, he was back at work creating another film. He’s been working on this next Studio Ghibli movie for years. It’s titled How Do You Live?, and thanks to a new report, we have an update on how the movie is coming along. The film is based on Yoshino Genzaburo’s 1937 story about a young boy who moves in with his uncle after the death of his father and undergoes a spiritual change.

Producer Toshio Suzuki spoke with EW about the project saying, “The film that Hayao Miyazaki’s working on at the moment is a big, fantastical story.” When talking about Miyazaki returning to work to make the film, he explained:

“Many directors make films on and on and on throughout their careers as they grow older. When Miyazaki came back and said that I want to make a film again, I actually said that’s not a great idea because he’s achieved so much already. You can’t come back and do something that you’ve already done in the past, you have to do something different. One of the ideas that came out from that was, why not spend more time and spend more money [to make a film]? So, that’s one of the new approaches.”

Suzuki goes on to say that the coronavirus pandemic has not affected Ghibli’s progress on this movie, but they are still a few years away from seeing it completed as they are only able to complete 1-minute of animation per month:

“We are still hand-drawing everything, but it takes us more time to complete a film because we’re drawing more frames. So, there are more drawings to draw than before. Back when we were making [1988’s] My Neighbor Totoro, we only had eight animators. Totoro we made in eight months. [For] the current film that Hayao Miyazaki is working on, we have 60 animators, but we are only able to come up with one minute of animation in a month. That means 12 months a year, you get 12 minutes worth of movie. Actually, we’ve been working on this film for three years, so that means we have 36 minutes completed so far. We’re hoping it will finish in the next three years.”

Wow! That’s incredible! They are painstakingly creating this film and there’s no doubt the outcome will be one of the most beautifully made anime films ever made. I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re going for and I’m excited as hell to watch it and see what they’ve accomplished!

There’s another film in development as well. This second movie comes from Miyazaki’s son, Gorō Miyazaki, who previously helmed 2006’s Tales from Earthsea and 2011’s From Up on Poppy Hill for Ghibli. This other project will be made with computer-generated animation. Suzuki talks about the story, saying:

“Gorō’s film is based on a book or story from England, and it’s a story about a very wise girl. We’ve only announced it’s going to be a new film, we haven’t announced anything yet. So, that’s as far as I can tell you now.”

Studio Ghibli’s anime movie library will arrive on the HBO Max streaming platform at launch this May 27th.

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