When Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement in 2013, Studio Ghibli fans worldwide mourned the end of anime’s most prolific creator. It didn’t take long for him to return to the studio, however, with his son Goro telling IndieWire that he found retirement “so aimless” and he “needed to create something in order to live”.
In 2017, Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki announced that Hayao would be returning to make a new film for his grandson, which is believed to be his upcoming feature film How Do You Live?.
“Miyazaki is making the new film for his grandson. It’s his way of saying, ‘Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he’s leaving behind this film,’” Suzuki said at the time.
But Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro, whose Ghibli film Earwig and the Witch is out later this year, said in a new interview with /Film that his dissatisfaction with retirement prompted Hayao to return to filmmaking.
“He started with making a short film for the (Ghibli) museum, and then he went on to making his new feature-length film,” he said.
“Hayao Miyazaki’s wife, who is my mother, she used to say (to him), ‘I wish you would retire and take it easy and enjoy the rest of your life’. But recently, she’s come to accept the fact that he cannot stop creating, so she knows that, so she’ll be like, ‘Okay, if you’d rather create until the end of your life, then go to the studio, go to the office everyday.’”
Goro’s Earwig and the Witch is hitting HBO Max on February 5, but Hayao’s How Do You Live? is still years away from its release date. Suzuki said in 2020 that production on the film would last another three years because of the hand-drawn animation style being used on the feature.
In the meantime, watch the trailer for Earwig and the Witch below.