Studio Ghibli’s Star Wars Short ‘Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies’ is Out
by Alex Billington
November 12, 2022
Surprise!! It’s time to watch this. Disney has debuted a brand new, hand-drawn animated short film made by Studio Ghibli called Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies. The very first, official Studio Ghibli + Star Wars crossover. Hooray!! The 3-minute short film is available to watch on Disney+ right now, streaming within the Star Wars section. The film features the beloved, iconic “Baby Yoda” – whose real name is Grogu, featuring long, flowing pink ears in this one – encountering and interacting with the soot sprites from the Ghibli films (aka “dust bunnies” or Susuwatari in Japanese). They first appeared in My Neighbor Totoro and also showed up in Spirited Away. This was initially teased a few days ago with cryptic tweets, then The Wrap picked up on a tease from the Italian Disney+ Twitter mentioning the film. But no details were known about it and nothing was revealed at all before today. There’s not much to this, but it is so so so wonderful to see Lucasfilm collaborating with Studio Ghibli. Now make an entire feature film next! Please and thank you.
Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies is a hand drawn animated short by Studio Ghibli. The short film is written and directed by and animated by filmmaker Katsuya Kondo, who was worked as a key animator for Studio Ghibli on every single film ever since Castle in the Sky (in 1986) through The Wind Rises (2013) and When Marnie Was There (2014). Featuring digital ink & paint & camera & composite by Yoichi Senzui. Produced by Tomohiko Ishii. Including a zen circle by iconic Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki. With music by Ludwig Göransson. The short film is a Lucasfilm production in association with Japan’s Studio Ghibli. The credits also feature Special Thanks to Kathleen Kennedy, Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and a few others from the Star Wars side of things. Other than that, we have no idea how this got made or who pitched it first or anything. The hope is that Ghibli might also do a new short for the Star Wars Visions series, which featured anime studios making unique SW films. You never know what other surprises they have in store for us!! Thoughts?