Hayao Miyazaki's Boro the Caterpillar Released in Japan

Hayao Miyazaki's Boro the Caterpilla

Hayao Miyazaki's Boro the Caterpilla

Hayao Miyazaki's Boro the Caterpilla

On March 21, Hayao Miyazaki's newest short film premiered at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan. Boro the Caterpillar. With a running time of 14 minutes, Boro tells the adventures of a small caterpillar making his way in the world. Once again, the director has created a character with spark and personality, with large cartoon eyes and prickly hair that reminds me a little of Pigpen.

Early reports indicated that this would be a CG animated short, which turned many heads in the West, as the famously stubborn Miyazaki clings to traditional hand-drawn animation, resisting the modern obsession with computer animation. Any expectations that Ghibli would turn into "the Pixar of the East" (to coin a phrase) has been dashed, as this movie was, thankfully, created in the classical style (presumably with CG in a Ghibli-standard supporting role). Thank Heavens for that. There is an expressiveness to hand-drawn art that computer software tools cannot match.

Obviously, as this is a Ghibli Museum short film, there are no plans to show this movie outside of Japan. Miyazaki has always insisted that movies created specifically for the museum shall stay there, and be free of overt commercialism. I would like to imagine a touring collection of these shorts in children's museums around the world, much like the traveling Totoro exhibition over a decade ago. It's not likely to ever happen, but it would be very nice.

It's great to see Miyazaki back in the director's chair after his latest "retirement" in 2013. Age has no doubt slowed him down, but his talents and his mind remain as sharp as ever. Let's hope that he is able to complete his upcoming feature film, which is expected to be completed in two to three years.

No comments:

More Ghibli Blog Posts To Discover