The collaboration between Lucasfilm and the famous anime studio Studio Ghibli has been revealed: a hand-drawn animated short about Grogu from The Mandalorian called Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies. A new poster has been released alongside a confirmation that the short will be arriving on Disney Plus tomorrow.
Over the past few days, news has surfaced suggesting that the beloved anime company Studio Ghibli was making a collaborative project with Lucasfilm. Soon after, Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki released a photo of his desk with a Grogu figurine in focus, all but confirming that the collaboration was going to involve the Star Wars franchise. Today, Disney sent out an official press release, confirming the existence of the project and who is involved, along with a confirmation that the short will be arriving tomorrow! Here’s what they said:
“Disney Plus shared a special surprise today for fans of Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian. A new, original short, Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies, from famed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, will premiere on November 12, exclusively on Disney+ in celebration of the third anniversary of the streaming service and the debut of popular Star Wars series The Mandalorian. The hand-drawn, animated short is directed by Katsuya Kondo with music by Ludwig Göransson.”
In addition, they revealed a poster for the short. Check it out below:
Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies, a hand-drawn animated Original short by Studio Ghibli.
— Star Wars | Andor & Tales of the Jedi On Disney+ (@starwars) November 12, 2022
This short is technically a franchise crossover between Studio Ghibli’s own intellectual property and Star Wars, as the “dust bunnies” (or “susuwatari”, as they are described outside of English localizations) depicted on the poster appeared in both My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. It also would not be the first crossover, given the presence of the Asogians (the alien species seen in E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial) in the Republic Senate in The Phantom Menace.
Back at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim earlier this year, it was stated that Star Wars and anime had a very bright future together. At the time, some had assumed this just meant more Star Wars Visions, which started as an anime anthology before expanding to international animation. But now it appears Lucasfilm has bigger aspirations for expanding this franchise into the realm of anime. Hopefully, this is not the last time Lucasfilm and Studio Ghibli collaborate.
Zen – Grogu and the Dust Bunnies will be available to stream on November 11, 2022, exclusively through Disney Plus.