Boro the Caterpillar

Kemushi no Boro (毛虫のボロ, lit. Boro the Caterpillar) is a 2018 Japanese animated short film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki made for the Ghibli Museum. It premiered at the museum on March 21, 2018.

Kemushi no Boro
Boro the Caterpillar.jpg
Directed byHayao Miyazaki
Written byHayao Miyazaki
Produced byToshio Suzuki
CinematographyAtsushi Okui
Music byJoe Hisaishi
Distributed byGhibli Museum
Release date
  • March 21, 2018 (2018-03-21)
Running time
14 minutes

The short film is shown only in the Ghibli Museum. The story is about a recently hatched caterpillar named Boro as he takes his first steps into the world.


The origin of Boro stemmed from sketches that Miyazaki had made in 1995.[1] Miyazaki first brought up Boro as a potential idea for a movie, but Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, concerned about the difficulty of making a feature-length film with no human characters, proposed creating Princess Mononoke instead.[2]

Following the release of The Wind Rises in 2013, Miyazaki announced his retirement.[3] However, sensing that Miyazaki still wanted to work on projects, Suzuki asked the retired director if he would be interested in creating a short film using his Boro idea.[2] In 2015, Miyazaki decided to come out of retirement to work on a roughly ten-minute short film meant to be screened exclusively at the Ghibli Museum.[4] Miyazaki described the plot of Boro as being about "a story of a tiny, hairy caterpillar, so tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers".[5]

While Miyazaki had previously incorporated computer-generated images into earlier, hand-drawn films like Spirited Away, Boro was Miyazaki's[6] first work to incorporate a CG animated main character.[4] Suzuki had suggested Miyazaki work using CGI, as he thought that "the challenge of a new technique might get [Miyazaki] fired up again". Miyazaki himself stated that "I have ideas I may not be able to draw by hand, and [CGI] may be a way to do it—that’s my hope. It’s a new technology". Given the choice by Suzuki, Miyazaki opted to go with a team of Japanese CGI animators instead of working with Pixar under John Lasseter, as the former would be able to speak Japanese.[2] On September 21, 2015, CG animator Yuhei Sakuragi announced that he would be helping Miyazaki complete Boro.[1] The production of the film was partially documented in the NHK-produced documentary Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki released in 2016.

Japanese television host and comedian Tamori provided all voices and sound effects for Kemushi no Boro.[7][8] The piano song at the end of the short film was performed by longtime Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi.[9]


Toshio Suzuki initially stated that Kemushi no Boro was due for a July 2017 release.[10] It eventually premiered at the Ghibli Museum on March 21, 2018.[11]


  1. ^ a b Schilling, Mark (2015-09-22). "Hayao Miyazaki Teaming With Yuhei Sakuragi to Make 'Boro'". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  2. ^ a b c Kimie, Itakura (2016-07-06). "What's Up at Studio Ghibli? Catching Up with Producer Suzuki Toshio". Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  3. ^ Child, Ben (2013-09-02). "Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki to retire following latest film". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  4. ^ a b Kamen, Matt (2015-07-13). "Hayao Miyazaki cancels retirement for first CGI animation". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  5. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (2015-07-14). "Hayao Miyazaki Cancels Retirement Again". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  6. ^ Whitney, E. Oliver. "Studio Ghibli Reopens for Hayao Miyazaki's Next Film". ScreenCrush. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  7. ^ Loo, Egan (2018-03-14). "Hayao Miyazaki's New Ghibli Museum Anime Short Features Joe Hisaishi Music". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  8. ^ Rogers, Krista (2018-03-21). "Miyazaki's new animated short 'Boro the Caterpillar' completed; voice actor revealed". Japan Today. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  9. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (2018-03-14). "72-Year-Old Comedian Tamori Provides Voices and Sounds for Hayao Miyazaki's "Boro the Caterpillar"". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  10. ^ Loo, Egan (2017-04-29). "Hayao Miyazaki's New Anime Short Debuts in July, But His Proposed Feature Film Will Not Debut in 2019". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  11. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (2018-01-09). "Ghibli Museum will Start Screening Hayao Miyazaki's New Short Film "Boro the Caterpillar" on March 21". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2019-04-07.

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