No matter your age, it’s hard not to get excited by the announcement of a new film with Hayao Miyazaki’s name attached to it. Though, in this case, it’s is a little different. “Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki,” directed by Kaku Arakawa, is a documentary that follows the life of the famed filmmaker during his (brief) retirement, through his new interest in digital animation, and his constant attempts to outdo himself.
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Whether it’s “Ponyo,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” or “Spirited Away,” we all have a favorite film from Miyazaki’s production company, Studio Ghibli. The beautiful animation and compelling storylines capture the imagination and hearts of adults and children alike. The studio was gaining attention long before Disney acquired the rights for American distribution back in the ’90s, and soon enough, Miyazaki became a household name. When the Academy Award-winning animator announced his retirement in 2013, the world was heartbroken. But not for long.
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‘Never-Ending Man’ follows Miyazaki as he slowly started to come out of retirement in 2016 and worked towards completing his latest project, a film recently entitled “How Do You Live?” that will hopefully be out by 2020. The documentary has been available in Japan since its release in 2016, but GKIDS Films has only just acquired the rights for North American distribution.
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‘Never-Ending Man’ is said to be “coming soon” in winter of 2018.
Here are the official synopsis and trailer:
In 2013, film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72. But he couldn’t shake his burning desire to create. After an encounter with young CGI animators, Miyazaki embarked on a new endeavor, his first project ever to utilize CGI. But the artist, who had been adamant about hand-drawn animation, confronted many challenges. The film even faces the danger of being canceled. Can an old master who thinks he’s past his prime shine once again? This program goes behind the scenes over two years as Miyazaki overcomes struggles to create his short film using CGI.