Lots of exciting Ghibli news out today via the studio’s uber-producer Toshio Suzuki.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Suzuki says that 36 minutes of Miyazaki’s new film, Kimitachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?) are complete.
He adds that COVID-19 has not affected the production of the film, and that he expects it will be finished in the next three years. He also drops a tantalizing bit of news: that the entire film will feature some impressive, hand-drawn animation.
We are still hand-drawing everything, but it takes us more time to complete a film because we’re drawing more frames. So, there are more drawings to draw than before. Back when we were making My Neighbor Totoro, we only had eight animators. Totoro we made in eight months. [For] the current film that Hayao Miyazaki is working on, we have 60 animators, but we are only able to come up with one minute of animation in a month. That means 12 months a year, you get 12 minutes worth of movie. Actually, we’ve been working on this film for three years, so that means we have 36 minutes completed so far. We’re hoping it will finish in the next three years.
Meanwhile, Suzuki released some information on the next film from Miyazaki the younger, Goro, the director of From Up On Poppy Hill. The film will be animated in CG and is based on “a story of book from England” about “a very wise girl.”
This follows a pattern of several Ghibli films based on fantasy novels from abroad, such as The Borrowers and Howl’s Moving Castle.
Last time we heard from Suzuki, in December 2019, we learned Hayao’s film was about 15% complete. 36 minutes seems like more than that, though it depends how long the film will ultimately run.
Here’s hoping everyone at the studio stays healthy as they work toward the completion of these two projects.