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Ghibli to Open Training Center in Western Japan

Car maker Toyota and animation studio Ghibli, the home of Hayao Miyazaki's SPIRITED AWAY and PONYO ON THE CLIFF BY THE SEA, will open a new training studio in Japan, according to VARIETY.

Tentatively called Ghibli West, the studio will be located in Toyota's research and development center in Aichi Prefecture in western Japan. Starting next month, Ghibli will send up to 20 new recruits for two years to learn animation techniques and Toyota's technologies. Miyazaki and other veteran animators will lecture. The students will also make animated shorts that will be screened at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.

After a visit to the Toyota headquarters in 2006, Ghibli producer and former president Toshio Suzkuki had the idea to combine resources to give students an appreciation for Toyota's traditional handcrafting skills. The training will make new hires better fits for Ghibli, which blends the latest technology with hand-drawn animation.