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Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki comes out of retirement for one last film

By Kara Santos Published Nov 26, 2021 11:43 am

Legendary Studio Ghibli filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki will be coming out of retirement (again) for one last film, which will be based on a 1930s novel by Yoshino Genzaburo.

Studio Ghibli is one of the most beloved Japanese animation studios, known around the world for its hand-painted animated classics like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, all helmed by Miyazaki.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Miyazaki confirmed that he is working on an adaptation of the 1937 novel, How Do You Live? which will be his final film for the studio. The filmmaker described the upcoming movie, based on the novel written by Genzaburo, as a "fantasy on a grand scale."

“The story concerns a 15-year-old boy in Tokyo, small for his age and fond of mischief, whose father has recently died. In the English translation by Bruno Navasky, published in October, the boy gazes out at the city and is overwhelmed: ‘The watching self, the self being watched, and furthermore the self becoming conscious of all this, the self observing itself by itself, from afar, all those various selves overlapped in his heart,’” the NYT report describes the original novel.

Miyazaki has been creating anime for decades, launching the acclaimed Studio Ghibli in 1985 following decades of animation work.

This is notably not the first time that Miyazaki has announced that he’s coming out of retirement, with the latest being in 2013, after having directed 11 features in 34 years. The filmmaker turned 80 years old last Jan. 5, 2021.

The last feature film Miyazaki directed was The Wind Rises, a fictionalized biographical film about Japanese aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who created the A6M World War II fighter plane.

Miyazaki's son, Goro Miyazaki, is continuing his father's legacy by directing his own projects for the studio, taking the lead on the recent CGi-animated movie for Earwig and The Witch.

Studio Ghibli has made headlines recently with the live-stage play adaptation of Spirited Away, set to land in Tokyo, Japan early next year. The theatrical play promises to give a brand new spin on the timeless animated classic that gave the studio its first Oscar for "Best Animated Picture."

The studio is also opening up its own amusement park, which will recreate some of the iconic settings from memorable films, including Princess Mononoke's Village, the Valley of the Witches from Kiki's Delivery Service, and a real -life Howl's Moving Castle, to name a few.

Since February 2020, 21 Studio Ghibli films have been made avialable worldwide on Netflix. The latest film, Earwig and the Witch, dropped on the streamer on Nov. 18.