It was previously revealed that legendary “retired” Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki‘s latest animated short, “Boro the Caterpillar” (Kemushi no Boro), will begin public screenings exclusively at the Ghibli Museum’s in-house Saturn Theater on Wednesday.
Last Wednesday, a private press screening of the 14-minute 20-second film held at the museum served to build excitement and included the reading of a thank-you letter written by Miyazaki himself which revealed some new background information regarding the film.
Ghibli Museum Director Kazuki Anzai read Miyazaki’s message in the director’s absence:
How does a just-born, tiny caterpillar view the world?
I learned about plants and photosynthesis as an elementary school student, and since then I’ve always been intrigued about what photosynthesis looks like.
I wondered if caterpillars might be able to see air as droplets, if crunching leaves tasted like jelly to them, and if hunting wasps were flying around like unmanned aircraft on a battlefield…
That’s how this film came about.
I would like to thank the staff who accompanied me until the end, my wife who taught me about noborogiku [senecio vulgaris; a flowering plant commonly known as groundsel or old-man-in-the-spring], and Tamori-san for his help in providing the sounds.
This film would not have been completed without Tamori-san.
Perhaps the most intriguing piece of information to glean from this message is that 72-year-old Tamori-san (real name: Kazuyoshi Morita) lent his voice for the creation of all sounds and sound effects in the film, including titular caterpillar Boro’s voice-like noises, the munching of leaves, flapping of insect wings, and even a small girl pedaling a tricycle. Tamori-san is one of Japan’s most recognizable TV celebrities, comedians, and hosts who is known for always wearing his iconic dark sunglasses while filming.
Actually, this isn’t the first time that Tamori-san has collaborated with Studio Ghibli. He previously provided all of the sounds for another Ghibli Museum-exclusive short animation, 2006’s “Looking for a Home” (Yado Sagashi).
If you’re planning to see “Boro the Caterpillar” during its unusually long run from March 21 to August 31 at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, please be reminded that all entrance tickets must be reserved in advance at Lawson convenience stores throughout Japan or JTB centers overseas. Priority sales for tickets with July entry dates will go on sale at Lawson branches from May 25-31, while tickets for August entry dates will be available from June 25-30. See the Ghibli Museum ticket link (in English) below about options for purchasing tickets from overseas.