Michael Dudok de Wit was asked by the famous Japanese animation studio Ghibli, to create his first feature length animated film. This would be Ghibli's first international co-production ever. Maarten Schmidt and Thomas Doebele followed Dudok de Wit and his team during the complex creative process for over two years. He is a perfectionist that is used to making his own hand drawn animated films by himself. For this new and timely production, he was assisted by a team of 20 to 30 artists from all over Europe.