The official Twitter account for the Star Wars franchise announced on Friday that “Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies,” a hand-drawn animated short by Studio Ghibli, will start streaming on the Disney+ service on Saturday at 3:00 a.m. EST (5:00 p.m. JST).
Katsuya Kondo (character designer on Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, Earwig and the Witch) directed the short, and Ludwig Göransson (The Mandalorian, Black Panther films) composed the music. The short represents Studio Ghibli co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki‘s lifelong friendship with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
Ghibli had posted a Tweet on Thursday, teasing a Lucasfilm logo followed by Ghibli’s own logo. Kennedy, director and producer Dave Filoni (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian), and others are visting Japan and the newly opened Ghibli Park this month.
Star Wars: Visions, an anthology of nine animated shorts from Japanese creators and anime studios, debuted on Disney+ in September 2021. Studios such as Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Kamikaze Douga, Science SARU, Production I.G, and Geno Studio produced the shorts.
Star Wars: Visions will get a “Volume 2” next year. Lucasfilm staff verbally said that they plan to release the volume in spring 2023. The project teased that creators from the United States (specifically, California), Chile, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, South Africa, India, South Korea, and Japan are involved.
HBO Max began streaming Studio Ghibli‘s films in 2020. Netflix, in a partnership with Wild Bunch International, also began streaming Studio Ghibli films worldwide except for the United States, Canada, and Japan in 2020.
GKIDS has released Studio Ghibli‘s films on home video in North America. The distributor also regularly screens the films theatrically in North America.
Update: Premiere time added, and Dave Filoni’s credits clarified. Thanks, Scoot.
Sources: Oricon, Mantan Web