Earlier in the week, the animation studio Studio Ghibli, famous for its animated movies, announced that it would be teaming up with Lucasfilm and Disney Plus to create some Star Wars content. There was no information as to what the collaboration would focus on or what format it might take, although the official social media account for Studio Ghibli shared a picture of a small model of The Mandalorian‘s Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) alongside the animation studio’s legendary co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, teasing that it would involve the diminutive Jedi in some regard.
Many fans assumed that they might have to wait many many months, or even years, before any information about whether Studio Ghibli would be making a Star Wars movie, and Star Wars series, or something totally different.
Thankfully, that wait was a lot shorter than expected, because the first collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Lucasfilm is now available to watch on the streaming service Disney Plus. The release is a hand-drawn animated short titled Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies, coming in at 3 minutes long.
It’s remarkably endearing, and shows Grogu interacting with the dust bunnies (otherwise known as Susuwatari) famous from the Studio Ghibli movies My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. It uses the Grogu theme music created by Ludwig Göransson as its backing score, enhancing the magical simplicity of the animation.
Of course, it’s likely that Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies is only a teaser for further collaborations between Studio Ghibli and Lucasfilm which could result in an anime series or anime movie, or more likely an animated adventure movie, for Disney Plus. Nevertheless, fans of Studio Ghibli and Grogu will appreciate the short for what it is, because it manages to capture the magical, fantastical nature of Grogu and the force that more recent instalments of the science fiction movie franchise have sometimes struggled with.
For more on Star Wars, check out our guides to the Star Wars bounty hunters, Star Wars villains, or Star Wars droids. Or, to keep up with Andor check out our explainers for Syril Karn, Mon Mothma, and Luthen Rael.