New Studio Ghibli Short Film: Choju Giga

Just when you thought Studio Ghibli was out, they pull you back in.

Today, the studio unveiled the first of three planned animated short films for Marubeni Power. This campaign promotes Japan's "Plan G," a new electric power option that Marubeni Power is offering to homes as an alternative to nuclear power. Studio Ghibli, and especially Hayao Miyazaki, are strong opponents of nuclear ever since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that led to the Daiichi power crisis in 2011.

This film is based on Japan's oldest art scroll, Chōjū-Jinbutsu-Giga Emaki, or "Scrolls of Cartoons of Birds, Animals, and People." These scrolls are among Japan's most famous and influential artworks; Isao Takahata wrote a book about this very subject, 12th Century Animation, in 1999. Needless to say, I would love to score the US publishing rights for that book.

This first short will begin airing in Japan on April 1; two more are promised and will follow in short order. Longtime Ghibli veteran Katsuya Kondo directed and animated this piece. Pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii provided the music, and Toshio Suzuki provides his own voice at the very end.

The short film plays below. Enjoy:


Stephen John Smoogen said...

Thanks for finding this. It was an enjoyable 30 seconds which I have now watched over and over again.

M. L. Liu said...

This is a supreme work of art. Notable is that Nobuyuki Tsujii (age 27), who composed the background music, was born blind. I think the vivacious tone of the music (which Nobu also performed)is perfect for the clip. It would be fascinating to know how he collaborated with the animators. As one Japanese tweeter wondered: was the animation made to fit the music, or the other way round? Curious minds want to know.

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