You can’t talk about Japanese animation without citing the works of Studio Ghibli; it would be like talking about American animation and forgetting to mention the name Walt Disney, or Pixar. Studio Ghibli still makes animation the old-fashioned way, by hand drawing it, and it’s a skill that’s undervalued and underused in the current animation market, which is why it was of some concern when news started being spread that Studio Ghibli was closing up shop for good. Animation fans the world over got out their sackcloth and ashes and prepared to mark the passing of an art form, but before you get too deeply into those funeral preparations, it seems that news of Studio Ghibli’s departure from this mortal coil of animation has been greatly exaggerated.
The folks at /Film looked at a report from the Anime News Network and translated it properly to confirm if these were indeed the last days for Studio Ghibli, and it looks like reports of its death were really just a bit of a miscommunication. In a message from the studio’s co-founder Toshio Suzuki, who produced many of the studio’s greatest films, is confirmation that they’re not shutting down operations, but merely taking a break to consider their next move:
“On what to do with Studio Ghibli’s future, it is by no means impossible to keep producing [movies] forever. However, we will take a brief pause to consider where to go from here.”
Considering that Ghibli’s main creative force, director Hayao Miyazaki, recently retired, and Suzuki stepped back from day-to-day operations as a producer to serve as “general manager” it should really come as no surprise that everyone still working there might want to consider their options before plowing full steam ahead on the next project. The work of Miyazaki is synonymous with Studio Ghibli, and the master released his final film before retirement, the historical drama The Wind Rises, this time last year.
On top of it all, the latest film from Ghibli, When Marnie Was There, has only made ¥379 million at the Japanese box office since its July 19 release, and the film before that, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, tapped out at ¥2,5 billion, or roughly half of its reported budget. By comparison Princess Mononoke made almost ¥14.5 billion in 1997, while Spirited Away made ¥30.4 billion in 2001 to become the highest grossing movie in Japanese history (usurping the place of James Cameron‘s Titanic).
So it’s a good news day for appreciators of fine animation, and even if Studio Ghibli’s productivity isn’t what it once was, it’s just good to know that this beacon of the craft will still be producing films and walking in the footsteps of a true artist like Miyazaki.
Source: Cinema Blend