For awhile now, we’ve followed the saga of legendary Japanese animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki on-and-off again relationship with retirement. Earlier this year, the 76-year-old innovator and master of his craft, broke his previous vow of retiring for the rest of his life in order to finish one final masterpiece, Boro the Caterpillar. A joyful newsletter from Studio Ghibli announced founder Miyazaki’s return to work. Miyazaki had previously been working on the new movie from his private home studio since February of this year, but recently returned to his main workshop for his final, major undertaking.
With major collaborators in tow, Miyazaki was greeted with a major ceremony and fanfare at Studio Ghibli headquarters. Miyazaki will also be personally training a new generation of animators found via an unprecedented call that Studio Ghibli put out earlier this summer. The lucky trio of animators will only be receiving roughly $1700 a month, but the skills and wisdom that will be passed down to them are sure to be nothing short of magical.
Boro the Caterpillar will be a massive endeavor with a projected release date of no earlier than the year 2019. The plucky, wide-eyed hero originally received an animated short that was featured at the Studio Ghibli museum, but Miyazaki himself quickly recognized that there was much more that he wanted to do–both with the character and his career.
Hayao Miyazaki’s works have been praised and shown around the world. His masterpiece Spirited Away was the first Japanese film as well as the first hand drawn movie to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Film. His other works including My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and Ponyo captured the hearts of millions of fans, and helped establish and legitimize long-form Anime in cinema.