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SYFY WIRE Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli & Lucasfilm teaming up for 'Mandalorian'-inspired short, 'Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies'

To celebrate the third anniversary of Disney+, the legendary animation studio is dream teaming with Lucasfilms.

By Matthew Jackson
Hayao Miyazaki GETTY

The Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli is one of the most respected and beloved creative forces in cinema. Lucasfilm, the studio founded by George Lucas which gave us Star WarsIndiana JonesWillow, and more, is also a cinematic icon. So, what would happen if these two creative titans joined forces? Well, we're about to find out.

After cryptically teasing the dream collaboration recently, this afternoon, Disney announced Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies, a new, original short from the famed Japanese animation house, premiering tomorrow night on Disney+. The hand-drawn, animated short, which is being directed by Katsuya Kondo with music by Ludwig Göransson (The Mandalorian, Wakanda Forever), was created as a celebration of the third anniversary of Disney's streaming service, along with the debut of the first live-action Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian.

Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies PRESS

Studio Ghibli and Lucasfilm had both been teasing us with the mysterious collaboration quite a bit this week. It began on Thursday, when the official Ghibli Twitter account sent out a brief video that's simply a merging of the two companies' logos, suggesting that Ghibli was preparing to announce some sort of Lucasfilm-themed project. The internet noticed, and fans quickly got excited. 

Lucasfilm offered no immediate clarity as to what exactly Ghibli was working on, or what franchise they might be playing with. The studio seemed to clear that up, while adding more fuel to the speculative fires, earlier today, tweeting out an image of a tiny Grogu figure sitting on a table, its base emblazoned with The Mandalorian's signature creed, "This is the way." To make things even more exciting, the out of focus figure in the background of the shot would appear to be Ghibli's legendary director Hayao Miyazaki. 

So, we knew that a Lucasfilm/Ghibli team-up was in the works, and that things were leaning in the direction not just of Star Wars, but of The Mandalorian specifically. Before we knew the answer, we dreamed up a possible what if scenario: Thinking in terms of something small scale, we figured it was possible that the studio was preparing an episode, or several episodes, of the Disney+ series Star Wars Visions, which features short films in different animation and storytelling styles set throughout the Star Wars galaxy. While we don't know if Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies falls into the Visions format, it's still a major coup for Lucasfilm, and it will be great to see what they've come up with.

We'll find out tomorrow, Nov. 12, when Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies debuts exclusively on Disney+.

Looking for more anime action? Naruto, Death Note, and One-Punch Man are all streaming on Peacock.