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Lush greenery, magical flying machines and huge, squelching monsters, overlaid with a soaring orchestral soundtrack. This animated short makes no pretence about its strongest influence – it’s a beautiful homage to the works of Hayao Miyazaki.

The film even features a mysterious-looking gentleman who looks suspiciously like Miyazaki himself. But this short, which has been gaining attention online in Japan and abroad, was not made by a team of professional animators, but a young film student in Paris.

Celles et Ceux des Cimes et Cieux (English title: ‘Girls and Guys from Summits and Skies’) was made by Gwenn Germain as his final project at Creapole, the Paris creative design university. The short film tells the story of a young man who lives in a village perched on a giant tree. One day, he falls deep into the forest, where he meets two strangers who offer to help him get home.

Alongside Miyazaki, Germain also cites as influences the French cartoonist Jean Girault (also known as Mœbius), and Blade Runner designer Syd Mead. It’s the Studio Ghibli influences that comes through strongest, though, helped along by a Joe Hisaishi soundtrack (the theme from 1997’s Hanabi). Watch the short film in full below.

Germain describes the short film as a trailer, although it seems to be a finished project, which is to say it doesn’t look like a full-length movie is in the works just yet. Either way, we think someone at Studio Ghibli should probably give Gwenn Germain a call!

▼ Does this slithering purple blob of a monster remind you of anything?

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 12.39.23 3All screenshots: Gwenn Germain via YouTube

▼ The film features a young man who falls from a treetop village, and is rescued by two strangers.

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▼ If that’s not supposed to be Miyazaki, I’ll eat my straw hat.

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Fantastic work – Gwenn deserves every bit of the praise he gets.

Source: Gwenn Germain via Kai-You
Featured image (gif): Gwenn Germain/RocketNews24
All screenshots: Gwenn Germain via YouTube
Top image: Gwenn Germain via YouTube