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New Documentary Follows Hayao Miyazaki Making His First CGI Film

A new trailer for 'Never-Ending Man' reveals two years of behind-the-scenes footage from Studio Ghibli's 'Boro the Caterpillar' short.

by Beckett Mufson
May 4 2017, 4:35pm

"Beloved," "animation legend," and "master of his craft," are phrases that have orbited Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki throughout his prodigious five-decade career, so it's fascinating to see him struggle with a new set of tools in the new trailer for Never-Ending Man.

The documentary follows the Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke director's first foray into 3D animated film after his self-imposed retirement from hand-drawn features in 2013. The trailer below teases footage from the 12-minute CGI short that brought him back to work, Boro the Caterpillar, as well as moments of fascination, frustration, triumph, and creativity behind it.

The film seems like a real emotional roller coaster for those who have followed Miyazaki's work from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind to The Wind Rises. "It's so strange. Like creating a new virus," the Academy Award-winning director says of the 3D animation process. In a particularly sobering moment, he adds, "This is hard... I feel like a failure."

"Will this 75-year-old man see it through to completion?" the teaser's bombastic British narrator wonders at one point in the trailer? Tune in to NHK WORLD TV on Saturday, June 3 at 4:10 and 10:10 PM and Sunday, June 4 4:10 and 10:10 AM to find out.

If you miss Never-Ending Man, remember that GKIDS is screening a slew of Hayao Miyazaki classics at a theater near you for Ghibli Fest this summer.

Related:

Miyazaki Is Coming Out of Retirement (Again) for What Could Be His Final Movie

Watch a High-Flying Video Dedicated to Miyazaki's Love of Flight

18 Genius Hayao Miyazaki Quotes