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Studio Ghibli's Baby Yoda Animated Short Lands on Disney Plus

Zen -- Grogu and Dust Bunnies is an original Star Wars short from the legendary Japanese studio.

Hand-drawn Grogu from Studio Ghibli
Grogu encounters dust bunnies in Studio Ghibli's short.
Disney Plus, Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli, the iconic Japanese animation studio behind films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, produced a new original Star Wars short called Zen -- Grogu and Dust Bunnies. It landed on Disney Plus on Saturday, to celebrate the third anniversary of The Mandalorian.

The hand-drawn 3-minute animation was directed by Katsuya Kondo (who worked on the animation for movies like My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke), with music by Mandalorian composer Ludwig Göransson.

The reveal follows Studio Ghibli teasing a collaboration with Lucasfilm on Thursday on Twitter. The official Star Wars Twitter account shared the teaser as well, and Studio Ghibli cemented the connection to a galaxy far, far away with a follow-up tweet on Friday.

An earlier, 15-second teaser showed the Lucasfilm and Studio Ghibli logos, with no other images, characters, music or even sounds. However, Studio Ghibli offered a clue with its tweeted photo featuring a tiny statue of Mandalorian buddy Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) and out-of-focus studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. (He also directed several of its major movies.) 

Before the Grogu short was revealed, some people online expressed their hope for an animated Star Wars film. It isn't the franchise's first foray into Japanese animation; Lucasfilm released anime-inspired anthology series Star Wars: Visions on Disney Plus last year. A second season is scheduled for release next spring, but the Studio Ghibli project is separate.

For more, check out the latest look at Studio Ghibli's amusement park and CNET's review of the Star Wars prequel series Andor.

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