UPDATE: Studio Ghibli to Shut Down Operations?

August 3, 2014

UPDATE: While it's still not much better news, Anime News Network is reporting that Studio Ghibli is instead thinking more about restructuring:

"Suzuki discussed the great changes that the entire studio is undergoing at the studio's shareholders meeting, and mused that these changes may include dismantling the production department. While there has been talk among some about dissolving the studio outright, Suzuki emphasized that the truth is that the studio is considering "housecleaning" or restructuring for now. The end result would be "rebuilding" the studio and creating an environment for the next generation.

Suzuki did not downplay the significance of Miyazaki's retirement. Still, he added, "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."

The original story follows:

Word is coming out of Japan confirming recent rumors that Japan's legendary animation house, Studio Ghibli, the long-time home of Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki, will be shutting its doors.

This sad and shocking news comes out of an appearance by Studio Ghibli general manager Toshio Suzuki on Japanese television that's been translated on (via The Film Stage), basically saying they would be closing the animation feature film department, maintaining a small staff to focus on trademarked material.

This is a loosely translated report that's shown up online after the television appearance:

"Just moments ago, Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli producer, announced on the TV show of the MBS Jounetsu Tairiku chain effectively as announced as sources close to the studio, Studio Ghibli will close and production studio anime, leaving himself only as a company that will manage its trademarks. As stated in the program’s producer, "the production department of anime will be dismantled," which coincides with the data that we gave in our previous post on this decision had been taken from spring after the poor reception at the box office of Kaguya-hime no Monogatari.

In the interview, Suzuki has also admitted that it was a major setback for the study progress Hayao Miyazaki*, one of the reasons already unveiled the portal Rakuten Woman. Once we have access to the full TV interview, adding more data. No doubt that this is a very sad news for Japanese animation, of which we are all fans, because it is undeniable everything Studio Ghibli has given the anime. Please remember that what will be his last film, Omoide no Marnie, premiered at the Japanese box office on 19 July.”

(*Note: this seems like a mistranslation. We assume that "study progress" is meant to say "studio to lose.")

Studio Ghibli's founder Hayao Miyazaki retired last year after finishing his final film, the Oscar-nominated The Wind Rises, handing the studio over to Suzuki, who retired from producing to become the general manager. Before his retirement, Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli created some of the most beloved and iconic 2D animated films of the past thirty years including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and many more.

When Marie Was There, based on the novel by Joan G. Robinson and released in Japan on July 19, will be the studio's next feature film with no signs of a U.S. release date, as of yet. In the meantime, GKIDS will release Isao Takahata's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya in select cities on October 17.

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