AniTAY: What made you want to work on the Shrek franchise?
Hayao Miyazaki: As you know, you otaku have been a great disappointment to me. Every time I see a waifu body pillow I put my head in my hands and ask God, “What have I done?” Shrek fans aren’t like that, not once have I seen a Shrek or Donkey booby mouse pad.
AniTAY: Have the previous Shrek films influenced your work in any way?
HM: Spirited Away was originally conceived as a continuation of the Shrek franchise after I was blown away by the original. Halfway through production I was informed by my lawyers that I could not do that, but I still left subtle nods to Shrek in there. If you look closely I have hidden a picture of Shrek in every scene in the film.
AniTAY: What can you reveal about the plot of Shrek 5Ever?
HM: Shrek is an ogre who lives in a swamp and makes pop culture references with his friend Donkey. Sometimes they do not get along, however. That’s where the main focus of the film lies. The viewer will be transported to another world where ogres and donkeys struggle to cohabitate.
AniTAY: You’re not working with composer Joe Hisashi this time around. What happened there?
HM: I wanted Smash Mouth to compose the entire score. When I first heard the ballad “All Star” over my work, it felt like I had finally achieved something. Never had I heard lyrics meld with my images on screen so well. Joe is fine but...learn a new chord, ya know?
AniTAY: What was it like working with English voice actors?
HM: Very different. For one thing, English voice actors are true professionals. Edward Murphy is just as much of a gentlemen as you would imagine, while Mike Myers subtle delivery of my dialogue left me breathless. Frankly, it makes me physically ill to even hear someone speaking Japanese after this.
AniTAY: Would you ever direct another anime film in Japan?
HM: Absolutely not. After the release of this film I will be announcing my retirement. Four months later I will then come out of retirement to direct Shrek 666 (Editor’s Note: working title). It’s safe to say that my time working in the anime industry ::Miyazaki then catches my eye and winks:: is ogre.