Late last year, we told you that Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki would be retiring from feature films, devoting his time to maintaining the Studio Ghibli Museum and making short films. Well, it appears his first short is going to have the veteran world-weaver delve into a realm he’s never gone before: computer animation.
One of the last proponents of hand-drawn animation, Miyazaki’s first post-retirement short will be a ten-minute CG film that will reportedly take three years to make, though there’s no word yet on how far into the process his, or when that might begin if it hasn’t already.
Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki, the director of such Ghibli films as Tales from Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill, says his 74-year-old father will never truly retire. “[Hayao] gets bored when his goal is maintaining [the Ghibli Museum], so he needs things to fiddle around with.”
Goro currently directs the Studio Ghibli television series, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, which is itself CG. Last fall, when asked how he felt about his son diving into the 3-D digital animation fray, the elder Miyazaki said he thinks talent decides everything. “More than the method, what’s important is the talent using it. There’s nothing inherently wrong or right about a method, whether it be pencil drawings or 3-D CG.”
Throughout his 40+ year animation career, Hayao Miyazaki has stayed constant with his devotion to the slower, more methodical 2-D hand-drawn style, but it seems he’s branching out, dipping his toe in to the waters of what has become the only way to do animated films. As he said, it’s about talent more than method.
For a look at Miyazaki’s working world, I recommend the documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness about the making of his final feature, The Wind Rises.
What do you think about Hayao Miyazaki doing a CG short? Has he sold out or is any new Miyazaki good Miyazaki? Let us know in the comments below!