Rumours have been flying wild over the last couple of weeks regarding what appears to be the imminent demise of Japanese animation powerhouse, Studio Ghibli. Their films are beautiful, yet excruciatingly expensive to produce and they just aren’t reaping the box office returns that previous movies have experienced at the box office. Is this the end for Studio Ghibli? Not exactly.With co-founder Hayao Miyazaki having retired from directing, the animation legend was the focus of a documentary wherein he delivered a rather odd statement. Here’s the screen capture from The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness:
Thing is, that is just the opinion of one man really, albeit an influential person. Appearing on the Japanese TV program Jonetsu Tairiku, co-founder and current Studio Ghibli general manager Toshio Suzuki spoke about the future of the company, in an interview that was badly translated and caused anime fans to initiate a red alert of panic.
According to Anime News Network however, what is really being planned for Studio Ghibli, is a restructuring:
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 also said, “On what to do with Studio Ghibi’s future, it is by no means impossible to keep producing [movies] forever.” Kotaku has some more translations, which are worth a read, as that site also pointed out that if Studio Ghibli were to shut down, it’d be national news. So far, not a single newspaper in Japan has run such a story.
While I doubt that we’ll see Studio Ghibli stop making films completely, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine a more reduced schedule, with efforts now focused on growing the bran-name of existing properties. It’s not an ideal solution, but it beats not seeing any future films released by that studio. When Marnie Was There is the latest such film from Studio Ghibli, and it’ll most likely hit the west next year.
Last Updated: August 4, 2014
August 4, 2014 at 16:17
I wonder if Miyazaki’s departure will mean the end of Ghibli, at least as we know it – a bit like if John Lasseter left Pixar. I agree – the above is just fan conspiracy talk, but the studio definitely has a problem with creating stand-out work NOT directed by Miyazaki.