Zen: Grogu and Dust Bunnies Premieres on Disney+
Well, we finally got the answer as to why Studio Ghibli was teasing a collaboration with Star Wars! Zen: Grogu and Dust Bunnies premiered on Disney+. It is an animated short featuring Grogu (better known as Baby Yoda) and The Dust Bunnies from Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro.
Last week, Studio Ghibli posted on Twitter about a potential collaboration. Other than the teaser trailer, they also shared pictures of Yoda and ominous-looking still shots of the sky. At the time, nobody quite knew what they were referring to but now the foreshadowing makes sense. The picture of Yoda was an obvious representation of Baby Yoda. The image of the sky, I believe, was to instill the feeling of zen.
Zen: Grogu and Dust Bunnies Review
Zen: Grogu and Dust Bunnies is only three minutes long. Although they announced it was only going to be a “short”, we did not exactly expect it to be that short. But – that is completely alright! Beggars can’t be choosers and we are lucky to even be getting a collab between Studio Ghibli and Lucasfilm in the first place.
Dust Bunnies in Spirited Away
The three-minute short starts off with an adorable sleeping Grogu, floating in the air and slowly spinning around. The music that accompanies this is very calming and whimsical – which is right up Studio Ghibli’s alley. After a few seconds pass, the curious little Dust Bunnies come into the frame. If you’re familiar with Dust Bunnies, or Soot Sprites, you know they are very interested in whatever is around them. In the movie Spirited Away they would take Chihiro’s shoes just to observe them out of sheer curiosity. So, it’s nice to see that they still have that curious energy about them in this short.
One of the Dust Bunnies jumps on Grogu’s head, waking him up and startling him. Grogu, confused, begins walking away as the Dust Bunnies quickly start to follow. After a while, they begin to look at each other and that is when the Dust Bunnies pull out a flower to give to Grogu. Grogu smiles, takes the flower, and paints the symbol for zen (also known as Ensō) on the screen with his tiny hands. And just like that – the short is over!
Dust Bunnies giving Grogu a flower
A Wholesome Animation Approach
The animation style itself was very calming and looked as if it was carefully painted on brown paper. There wasn’t anything complicated or extravagant about the animation, which definitely helped maintain a certain comforting charm. It was directed and animated by Katsuya Kondo. The music is by Ludwig Goranssan. Zen: Grogu and Dust Bunnies was a heartfelt work of art that anybody of any age can appreciate. I have watched it a few times just because it is wholesome and warms my heart.
Is There More to Come?
But, of course – there is still room for some potential speculation. Is this truly the last of Studio Ghibli and Lucasfilm’s collaboration? Perhaps this cute little animation is just the beginning of something bigger? The possibilities are endless. Maybe one day we can see a universe where the Studio Ghibli and Star Wars characters can be on screen together for longer than three minutes.
Regardless, I loved Zen: Grogu and Dust Bunnies and I recommend it to anyone who feels like they need a hug. Because that is what it feels like – a nice hug from some of the most adorable characters you’ll ever see. If you have three minutes to spare, I guarantee it will make you smile!
Check back for any more updates concerning the world of both Studio Ghibli and Lucasfilm!
Nicole enjoys escaping reality and immersing herself in any world possible - that includes anime, gaming, and superheroes.