Anyone who watched the 2013 documentary Kingdom of Dreams and Madness knows that Hayao #Miyazaki is not a man to sit around and twiddle thumbs — but then, a man doesn't head one of the world's most influential #animation studios by resting on his laurels. With a career spanning five decades, championing numerous #StudioGhibli titles that inspired generations with their stunning visuals and deeper sociological messages, Miyazaki's creations are not only born from a deep fantastical spirit, but a ruthless work ethic.
You'd think then, that the acclaimed #director would welcome the chance to put his feet up after spending 50 years working so hard that sometimes he "smelt blood," but you'd be wrong. Not even retirement will stop this guy from doing what he loves. Three years after throwing in the towel, Miyazaki is back — and it's all thanks to a tiny little guy called Boro. And Boro is a caterpillar.
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Since announcing his retirement in 2013, the 75-year-old has been working on a CG short for the Ghibli Museum called Kemushi no Boro (Boro the Caterpillar), a passion project that has been in the works for the last 20 years; however it would seem that the story has more legs than originally intended.
During a NHK special aptly named The Man Who Is Not Done, Miyazaki revealed that he was pretty dissatisfied with how the short turned out, so he's planning on turning the story of Boro — a crawly creature so small “it may be easily squished between your fingers" — into a feature-length movie instead. He then mused that the project would take around five years to make (meaning he would be 80 by the time it's completed) and revealed that despite having no official green light for lil' Boro, he's starting animation work anyway.
Of course, this is not the first time Miyazaki has come out of retirement for a project — over the last few decades he has dipped in and out of his working world. Back in 1998 he announced that Princess Mononoke would be his final venture, yet 18 years and six feature films later, the anime veteran is still pumping out projects that never fail to engage audiences across the globe.
While not much is known about Boro the Caterpillar's narrative, it's assumed its themes will be somewhat similar to Mononoke in that it'll be primarily focused on nature. And, as his projects generally carry political undertones, whether that be anti-militarization, feminism or environmentalism, its realistic to assume this tale will be no different. Perhaps Boro will be a commentary on climate change and the willful ignorance surrounding that topic, or maybe it'll address concepts of self preservation; addressing how a person can morph into a butterfly within a world slowly falling apart. But one thing is for certain, whatever underlying message this tiny tale project, Boro the Caterpillar will be a feast for the eyes.
What's your favorite Miyazaki movie?