Star Wars, Studio Ghibli is collaborating on Baby Yoda animated short

Lucasfilm and Studio Ghibli have teamed up for the animated short “Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies” marks one of the most promising – and delightful – creative partnerships for both entities.

The hand-drawn short film, which debuts November 12 on Disney+, brings together the adorable alien child Grogu from The Mandalorian and the humanized Dust Bunnies from Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning masterpiece Spirited Away.

Studio Ghibli got fans excited with a series of tweets teasing the collaboration, first with a video of the Lucasfilm and Ghibli logos, then with a photo of a Grogu figurine with Miyazaki sitting out of focus in the background.

Disney finally confirmed the collaboration in a tweet on Friday night, but no further information about the project was released.

This isn’t the first time Lucasfilm has partnered with an anime studio. Beginning in 2020, Lucasfilm recruited animation studios in Japan to create nine short films for its anthology series Star Wars: Visions for Disney+, allowing each studio to create any narrative it wanted within the Star Wars universe. Season 1 premiered in September 2021, and Season 2 – which is branching out beyond Japan to studios in Africa, Europe and India – is expected to arrive next spring.

News of Ghibli’s partnership with Lucasfilm comes in the same month that the company opened a theme park in central Japan dedicated to the works of Miyazaki, the studio’s co-founder and most renowned filmmaker. Unlike most parks, visitors can explore locations reminiscent of Miyazaki’s animated features, like the Catbus from 1988’s “My Neighbor Totoro.” Tickets are available by reservation only and are currently only available to domestic visitors.

After retiring in 2013 with The Wind Rises, Miyazaki returned to Ghibli for his 12th animated feature, How Do You Live?, which was inspired by a 1937 Japanese novel by Yoshino Genzaburo. The studio hasn’t announced when the film will be released, but its president, Koji Hoshino, reportedly announced during an October 2022 press conference for Ghibli Park that How Do You Live? is “close to completion.” โ€œ. Star Wars, Studio Ghibli is collaborating on Baby Yoda animated short

Charles Jones

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