In news that is sure to rock fans of anime across the globe, it has just been confirmed that the legendary Japanese production company Studio Ghibli will be shutting down.
Wildly considered the anime world’s equivalent to Walt Disney, Studio Ghibli was created in 1985 and is responsible for classics such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Laputa: Castle in The Sky and the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away.
Studio Ghibli was co-founded by and home to the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki until his high-profile retirement last year. Since then, rumours have circulated of the possibility of the studio shutting up shop, particularly in light of the underperformance of The Tale of Princess Kaguya.
The shocking news was announced earlier today on a Japanese talk show by the studio’s general manager and co-founder Toshio Suzuki. He confirmed that the studio will close its animation feature film department, transitioning to a focus on managing the company’s back-catalog, licensing and trademarks. Suzuki did mention that a small staff would be maintained for “Miyazaki projects’ – although it was not made clear exactly what that these projects would involve, particularly without an animation department.
It’s a sad day for fans everywhere of film, animation and creativity.