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Hayao Miyazaki takes on computer animation in new documentary

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In 2013 he announced his retirement, but that hasn’t stopped Miyazaki from creating

Co-founder of Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki takes on a new medium in a new documentary. Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki will showcase the filmmaker’s first foray into digital animation as he creates a short film, his latest project since his 2013 retirement.

Miyazaki is a legend, helming films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Academy-Award winning Spirited Away. In 2013, after the release of The Wind Rises, Miyazaki announced his retirement for directing. But his passion for creating drew him to a group of CGI animators. Though Miyazaki has been a champion of hand-drawn animation for his entire career, he decided to try his luck at taking on his first computer animated project.

The documentary follows Miyazaki over the course of two years as he creates an entirely computer animated short film, featuring a little hairy worm. It’s rare to get such an intimate glimpse of the elusive artist, but the film allows for a close-up look at Miyazaki’s whole process — the frustrations, the joys, the passion and everything in-between.

“We witness in real time the [...] childlike enthusiasm of an acknowledged legend, acutely aware that he may be creating his final work, and striving to make something vital,” said GKids CEO Eric Beckman in a press release.

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki will be released by GKids this winter. GKids is responsible for the North American distribution of Studio Ghibli films.