CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

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.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
Expertise Web hosting | Operating systems | Applications | Software Credentials
  • Apple software beta tester, "Helps make our computers and phones work!" - Zach's grandparents
Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture | Video Games | Breaking News
Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
Expertise News | Mobile | Broadband | 5G | Home tech | Streaming services | Entertainment | AI | Policy | Business | Politics Credentials
  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Zachary McAuliffe
Sean Keane
Corinne Reichert
2 min read
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.

Watch this: Disney's Galactic Starcruiser: What It's Really Like Inside the Star Wars Hotel