Ghibli X Star Wars anime short Zen – Grogu (Baby Yoda) and Dust Bunnies [Review] and new key visual released

Key visual for the anime short Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies.
Key visual for the anime short Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies. Pic credit: @whatsondisneyplus.com

On November 12, 2022, a hand-drawn anime short by Studio Ghibli titled Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies has begun streaming on Disney+. A new key visual features Grogu (whom everyone just calls Baby Yoda) in a meditative pose surrounded by floating Dust Bunnies has been released.

This animated short is in celebration of the Mandalorian’s third anniversary. The short was made possible due to the lifelong friendship between Studio Ghibli co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki’s, and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.

You can see the new key visual here:

Key visual for the anime short Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies.
Key visual for the anime short Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies. Pic credit: @starwars/Twitter

The Mandalorian was the first Disney+ series set in a galaxy far, far away and it became an instant hit when its helmet-clad hero strolled onto the screen. Jon Favreau created the series and stars Pedro Pascal as the voice (and sometimes helmet-free face) of “Mando” (a.k.a Din Djarin) who decides to take on Grogu as his foundling after realizing the people, who hired him to fetch him, have evil intentions towards the youngster.

Star Wars fans speculated about whether or not Grogu was in fact “Baby Yoda”, but as it turns out the events of the series happen after Yoda’s time, which means it is more likely to be one of Yoda’s descendants.

What is the plot of Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies?

The episode begins with Grogu in a meditative pose with his eyes closed floating about a foot above the ground. Since Grogu is in a deep meditative state he doesn’t notice the Dust Bunnies that start to surround him until one unceremoniously bumps off his head. Once Grogu realizes he’s surrounded by Dust Bunnies he tries to get away from them, but the Dust Bunnies persistently follow him. Grogu turns around in order to confront the nuisances and watches as they pile on top of each other until they are his height. Then, to his surprise, the Dust Bunnies present Baby Yoda with a large flower, which wins Grogu over.

I happened to watch this short with my cat in the room, who ended up walking right up to the screen and placing her paw on the screen due to the floating Dust Bunnies. This anime short is definitely pet friendly!

Fans of Studio Ghibli may recognize the Dust Bunnies from the films My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away.

Who are the members of the production team?

Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies production team members include:

  • Director – Katsuya Kondo (Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, Earwig and the Witch Character Designer)
  • Music Composer – Ludwig Goransson (The Mandalorian, Black Panther films)

RELATED: Studio Ghibli Star Wars Visions 2 anime project about The Mandalorian’s Grogu teased in a new promo with Hayao Miyazaki

This November 2022, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Dave Filoni (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian director and producer) are visiting the newly opened Ghibli Park in Japan.

In September 2021, an anthology of nine animated shorts from Japanese creators and anime studios titled Star Wars: Visions debuted on Disney+. Well-known Japanese animation studios, including Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Kamikaze Douga, Science SARU, Production I.G., and Geno Studio participated in the project.

In Spring 2023, Star Wars: Visions is expected to get a sequel or “Volume 2”. This time around creators from the United States (California), Chile, the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, South Africa, India, South Korea, and Japan are going to be involved in the project.

Did you enjoy the animated short Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies? Did your pet enjoy it? Let us know in the comment section below!

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