Hayao Miyazaki comes out of retirement for one last Studio Ghibli movie

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Spirited Away (2001)

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It may be hard to believe, but Hayao Miyazaki first announced his retirement from making feature animated films in the late ’90s. A year later, he returned to Studio Ghibli with the story idea for what would become Spirited Away, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2002.


To make a long story short, Miyazaki has announced his retirement on several occasions, the latest being in 2013, after directing 11 features in 34 years.

In a rare interview with The New York Times, which happened to an interpreter, with Miyazaki confirming that he is returning to Studio Ghibli again to direct a new film.

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“Because I wanted to,” he said.

Apart from a short film, the last feature film Miyazaki directed was 2013’s The Wind Rises, a fictional biographical film about Jiro Horikoshi, the Japanese aviation engineer who built the A6M World War II fighter aircraft. It only took a year after announcing his retirement for Miyazaki to find inspiration to make another film.

According to the Times, over the past four years, Miyazaki has been working on a new film, which isn’t finished yet.

Very little was shared about the new film, other than what it is based on. Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel Called How Do You Live? The novel follows a 15-year-old boy in Tokyo whose father has recently died. How do you live? Reportedly Miyazaki’s favorite “childhood” book.

Studio Ghibli founder and producer Toshio Suzuki described the new film as “imagined on a grand scale”.

Miyazaki hasn’t confirmed whether the new film will be titled How Do You Live?

When asked about the title, he replied: “I’m making this film because I don’t have the answer.”

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