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Studio Ghibli coronavirus 2021 illustration
via Twitter (@JP_GHIBLI)

Studio Ghibli celebrates the new year with... a coronavirus-themed drawing

Wholesome content TBH

As part of its annual New Years message, Studio Ghibli has shared an original coronavirus-themed illustration with a message to fans on social media.

The wholesome image, drawn by the studio’s legendary director himself, Hayao Miyazaki, was posted on the animation house’s brand new Twitter account. The drawing shows an ox, noting 2021 being the Year of the Ox, crushing a hairy, mask-wearing rendition of the coronavirus with its hooves. 

“We would like to extend our sincere greetings to all of you and thank you for always supporting Studio Ghibli,” reads the corresponding message.

“Last year, for Studio Ghibli, we had more opportunities than usual to interact with everyone, through the TV broadcast of Goro Miyazaki’s latest work, Earwig and the Witch, the re-screening of four works including Spirited Away, the free distribution of still images, and full-scale digital distribution worldwide. In a world where we continue to practice self-restraint due to coronavirus, we hope we were able to make you all smile, even if only a little bit.”

The message nods to Miyazaki’s 80th birthday, which happened on Tuesday (January 5), adding: “Director Miyazaki is still fine and is working on the production of the new movie How Do You Live? every day.”

While the release of How Do You Live? – Miyazaki’s first film since his so-called retirement in 2013 – is still a few years away, the studio has completed its computer-generated made-for-TV special Earwig and the Witch, overseen by Miyazaki’s son Goro (who also helmed the features Tales from Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill).

For those of you who might be horrified by the studio’s swing into CGI territory, there’s no need to fear just yet. How Do You Live? promises a return to the fantastical, 2D, hand-drawn animation style we know and love – but until then, check out the studio’s back catalogue of artworks to keep yourself busy.