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Short Film Shows How a Retired Hayao Miyazaki Discovered a New Creative Passion for CGI

When beloved animator Hayao Miyazaki first announced his retirement, it was like the end of an era for everyone who had grown up with Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and endless other movies full of magic and imagination. However, he didn’t stay away for long.

Miyazaki’s standard for his work, something we saw in The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, was famously intense and the incredible detail we see in his movies are the result of pain-staking dedication. The clip of him criticizing AI-generated zombies that went viral is only one of many examples of how much he cares about maintaining his values of storytelling. The news then, that the animator was beginning to experiment with CGI for a short film titled Boro the Caterpillar was somewhat surprising for fans who knew of the value Miyazaki placed on hand-drawn and traditional animation. It wasn’t only unexpected, it was exciting to hear the animator was going to continue working in a medium he hadn’t used much of before. In his 70s, Miyazaki continues to push himself to tell powerful and magical stories.

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki is a short film about that process, and the challenges of it. In this trailer, we see Miyazaki calls himself “a weak, used-up old man” as he wonders what to do with the time he has left. Director Kaku Arakawa said that through making this film, Miyazaki “made me realise that if your passions are aroused, you could do anything.” He says that through working with young CGI artists, “I could see his fire started blazing again.”

The description reads:

“In 2013, Oscar-winning film director and animator, Hayao Miyazaki, suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72. But after an encounter with young CGI artists, the director of Spirited Away decided to embark on a new artistic endeavour. This candid documentary follows Miyazaki as he crafts his first CGI film in an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait filmed over two years. Film in Japanese with voice-over and/or subtitles in English. Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki will be broadcast on NHK WORLD TV on June 3 Sat 16:10, 22:10/ 4 Sun 4:10 10:10″

From the short clips we’ve seen of Boro the CaterpillarI’m sure Never-Ending Man will only increase my appreciation for Miyazaki and his CGI ventures. What do you think about the trailer?

(via FirstShowing.net, Image: screencap)
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