Baby Yoda has befriended the Soot Gremlins and the world will never be the same. In the Studio Ghibli movies My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, small adorable creates called “Susuwatari,” but translated as “Soot Gremlins,” “Soot Sprites,” and “Dust Bunnies,” play memorable roles in both films. In My Neighbor Totoro (#3 on Fatherly’s best kids movies ever) you see the Soot Gremlins before you even see Totoro, and the Joe Hisaishi composition “Mei and the Dust Bunnies,” is one of the most whimsical and brilliantly definitive aspects of the movie.
And now, the fantasy world of Studio Ghibli has literally crossed over into the Star Wars Galaxy. In celebration of the third anniversary of The Mandalorian, Disney+ just dropped a surprise 3-minute animated short called “Zen — Grogu and the Dust Bunnies.”
In the short, Baby Yoda (Grogu) is awoken by the Soot Gremlins, initially startled, and then, given a giant flower. It’s simple and beautiful and really makes you wonder why we’re not getting a full-blown Studio Ghibli Baby Yoda movie. Although the Star Wars franchise partnered with several famous Anime studios for the animated anthology Star Wars: Visions, Studio Ghibli wasn’t part of that project.
Could “Grogu and the Dust Bunnies” lead to a bigger Studio Ghibli collaboration with Lucasfilm? We can only hope.
Where to Stream “Zen — Grogu and the Dust Bunnies”
The new animated short from Lucasfilm and Studio Ghibli is streaming on Disney+.
My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, which also feature the “Dust Bunnies,” both stream on HBO Max.