Studio Ghibli confirm Star Wars short film: what time is Zen Grogu and Dust Bunnies released?

Studio Ghibli sent fans wild after confirming Lucasfilm collaboration

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Studio Ghibli has confirmed that it is has made a Star Wars short film after teasing a mysterious collaboration with Lucasfilm.

The legendary Japanese animation studio sent fans wild after tweeting out a brief video featuring the logos of both companies. The post on social media was not caption and did not elaborate on the potential project.

A day later Studio Ghibli seemed to confirm that the project would be Star Wars related by sharing a picture of a model of the highly popular Baby Yoda (also known as Grogu) character. The photo also included founder Hayao Miyazaki out of focus in the background.

Disney + and Studio Ghibli have now confirmed that the project is a hand drawn short film called Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies. It will be released on Saturday (12 November).

Studio Ghibli was founded in the 1980s by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki. It has been behind some of the most iconic anime films in recent memory including the Academy Award winning Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo, among others.

Lucasfilm was started in 1971 by George Lucas prior to the release of Star Wars in 1977. It was purchased by Disney in 2012 for $4bn.

Here is all we know so far about Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies, the Studio Ghibli and Lucasfilm collaboration:

What has Studio Ghibli said about the project?

Studio Ghibli seemingly announced a collaboration with Lucasfilm in a post on social media on Thursday (10 November). The animation studio’s Japan account tweet a 15 second video.

In the footage, it starts with a black screen before the Lucasfilm logo appears before fading out again. The screen returns to black for a second before Studio Ghibli’s logo, featuring the character of Totoro from My Neighbour Totoro, appears and finally fades away bringing the video to an end.

The tweet did not contain a caption or any further details. Disney or Lucasfilm have not commented on the project at the time of writing.

Studio Ghibli is an independent studio, however Walt Disney Studios Japan do own a 10% share in the company. The companies have worked together in the past with Disney releasing Studio Ghibli films internationally.

A second tease on Friday (11 November) featured a photo of a model of Baby Yoda and an out of focus Miyazaki. It seemed to confirm that the collaboration would be a Star Wars project.

The official confirmation that Studio Ghibli was working on a Mandalorian themed spin off came in the early hours of Saturday (12 November) UK time. The Japanese studio has created a hand-drawn short film featuring Grogu and one of their own iconic creations the Dust Bunnies from the Academy Award winning Spirited Away.

When is Zen Grogu and Dust Bunnies released?

The short film will be released on Saturday (12 November). It is the three year anniversary of the debut of the first Star Wars series The Mandalorian and the debut of the Baby Yoda character.

Disney + releases new films and series at 8am in the UK. It is highly likely that will be the time you can expect to find Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies on the streaming service.

Have Studio Ghibli worked on TV or short films before?

May the Fourth Be With You: Baby Yoda (AKA Grogu) in The Mandalorian (Star Wars/ Disney)May the Fourth Be With You: Baby Yoda (AKA Grogu) in The Mandalorian (Star Wars/ Disney)
May the Fourth Be With You: Baby Yoda (AKA Grogu) in The Mandalorian (Star Wars/ Disney)

The animation studio is best known for its feature films. Ghibli and founder Hayao Miyazaki won the Oscar for best animated feature for Spirited Away in 2003.

However the company has dabbled in the TV world previously notably with 1987’s The Story Of Yanagawa's Canals. The most recent television release from the studio was 2014’s Ronja, the Robber's Daughter, which was directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of the founder.

Studio Ghibli have also released a number of short films throughout the years. The most recent was Boro the Caterpillar, directed by Hayao Miyazaki himself, in 2018 which was made exclusively for the Ghibli Museum in Japan.

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