Lucasfilm and Studio Ghibli’s surprise collaboration is now even more surprising because it’s available to stream Saturday, Nov. 12, on Disney Plus. Directed by Katsuya Kondo, and with music by Ludwig Göransson, the new animated short Star Wars Zen: Grogu and Dust Bunnies focuses on the breakout star of Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian, the adorable quinquagenarian youngling Grogu — more commonly known as Baby Yoda.
Grogu and Dust Bunnies is described as “a hand-drawn animated Original short by Studio Ghibli,” so don’t expect a sweeping Star Wars epic on par with Studio Ghibli animated features like Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Grave of the Fireflies. But the animation studio’s flirtation with a galaxy far, far away is still a pleasant surprise, not just for its nearly out-of-nowhere drop on Disney Plus, but for its perfect match of talent and subject. Grogu is adorable (and a prominent food-enjoyer), and the folks Ghibli are experts in cute, kid-friendly fare.
Plus, it’ll give fans of My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away’s soot sprites (aka Susuwatari) a chance to see how the titular dust bunnies fare against a Force user (and unquenchable snacker) like Grogu.
Studio Ghibli started teasing its team-up with Lucasfilm earlier this week, sending fans of both studios’ work into a tizzy with very little information to go on. But they didn’t keep Star Wars fans waiting long for the payoff — no holding on until spring 2023 for the second season of Star Wars: Visions after all.
Grogu and his dad Din Djarin will reunite for a third season of The Mandalorian in 2023.