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A new Studio Ghibli movie is in the works this year
Illustration by Hayao Miyazaki, via Studio Ghibli

A new Studio Ghibli movie is in the works this year

The announcement was made in the studio’s New Year’s message, and will be one of two films in production this year

We’re just two days into 2020 and Studio Ghibli has already blessed us with good news: the revered anime studio is working on two new films this year.

The studio – famous for iconic films Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro – had already revealed that its co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is directing the action-adventure fantasy feature, Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?), but dropped news of a second film in its annual New Year’s message yesterday. 

Little is currently known about the upcoming movie, leaving fans to question whether it will be a short or feature film, as well as whether it will be a traditional animation, live-action, or a hybrid.

The 2020 message also addressed the studio’s kabuki stage play, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the Studio Ghibli theme park, and its “active overseas development”. After listing the studio’s achievements, the statement continued: “The disasters such as typhoons and heavy rains in Japan are continuing, and it is painful to think that there are many people who are forced to have a hard life even at this time. We sincerely congratulate those affected by the damage and wish for an immediate rebuilding of their lives.” 

The message concluded: “Studio Ghibli continues to work on two new films. Also, Ghibli Park has started in earnest, so we hope to be able to deliver a lot of excitement again this year.” 

In October, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki declared that Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka was 15 per cent complete, after three and a half years of production, with Miyazaki reportedly directing one minute of animation each month. The director is working on the film without a deadline, which is unusual for a studio that normally operates with production schedules. Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka title is taken from Genzaburō Yoshino’s 1937 novel of the same name, which discusses how to live as human beings.