ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

The grand puppet master behind the likes of Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke may not live to finish his final movie. Questions have surrounded Hayao Miyazaki's health ever since he "retired" from Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli a few years ago, but several reports suggest he was unable to keep away, and has been working on a new feature film in secret.

Little is known about the nature of this top-secret masterpiece, but according to one of the producers at Studio Ghibli, doubts remain over whether he will be able to complete the movie before he dies.

'Spirited Away' [Credit: Studio Ghibli / Toho]
'Spirited Away' [Credit: Studio Ghibli / Toho]

See also:

What Do We Know About The Top Secret Miyazaki Movie?

'Princess Mononoke' [Credit: Studio Ghibli / Toho]
'Princess Mononoke' [Credit: Studio Ghibli / Toho]

Billed to be completed to coincide with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, word of Miyazaki's top secret new animation was leaked by Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki in an interview with Japanese news agency Kyodo News. In the interview, Suzuki revealed that Miyazaki was:

"Putting all his effort into making it [the secret movie]."

This was especially surprising for Studio Ghibli fans in light of the fact that Miyazaki had officially retired from directing in 2013, but apparently could not keep himself away.

Reports Suggest That Miyazaki May Not Live To Finish The Film

'My Neighbor Totoro' [Credit: Studio Ghibli / Toho]
'My Neighbor Totoro' [Credit: Studio Ghibli / Toho]

However, in a more recent interview at the Niconico Choukaigi convention, Toshio Suzuki cast doubts over whether Miyazaki will be able to complete the movie at all. Stating that is would be "simply impossible" to complete the movie before 2020, he went on to answer the question of whether Miyazaki would be able to finish the movie while still alive by saying:

"Hmmmm...I don't know."

Miyazaki Has Just Finished Work On A New Short Film

Naturally, this raises concerns about the 76-year-old director's health. However, he has managed to complete a new CGI short titled Kemushi no Boro (Boro the Caterpillar), which will debut at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo in July.

Let's hope the great animator wizard will prove us wrong and we'll see yet another Miyazaki masterpiece by 2020!


Which is your favorite Miyazaki movie?

(Sources: Kyodo News)


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