one last time

Hayao Miyazaki’s Last Studio Ghibli Film Is ‘Fantasy on a Grand Scale’

Photo: KATSUMI KASAHARA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Hayao Miyazaki declared his retirement in 2013, only to say “Sike!” four years later when he announced his last Studio Ghibli film, How Do You Live? The film is based on the 1937 novel of the same name by Genzaburo Yoshino; however, the exact plot details of the film are a mystery, only to be described as “fantasy on a grand scale” by producer and former Studio Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki to the New York Times. Suzuki also reveals that he “recognizes himself in one of the characters, who is not human.” Miyazaki prides himself on adapting books to larger-than-life stories; Ponyo (2008) is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” but features a magical goldfish, who longs to be human, that loves ham and ramen. According to an Entertainment Weekly interview with Suzuki from May 2020, the film is estimated to be finished within the next three years, as one year of hand-drawn animation work is “12 minutes worth of movie”; they had already completed about 36 minutes by then.

On the other side of Miyazaki coin, Studio Ghibli released its first computer-animated film Earwig and the Witch, directed by Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki in 2021, breaking the tradition of hand-drawn animation. Despite the style differences between the two generations, Hayao Miyazaki is leaving it all on the drawing table with How Do You Live? when it comes out sometime in a few years.

Hayao Miyazaki’s Last Film Is ‘Fantasy on a Grand Scale’