Update: Since reporting the alleged closure of Studio Ghibli's animation dept it has since surfaced that the studio is to take a breather in the wake of director Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement. Although it's accepted Ghibli are facing troubled times it appears original reports were miscommunicated. An uncertain future remains for the studio but we remain hopeful in light of recent news that Ghibli's work is to continue.
Original Story: Studio Ghibli is to close down its animation department, the firm has announced. After rumours circulating for some time as to a possible closure, Toshio Suzuki, the studio’s general manager has now confirmed on Japanese TV that this is indeed the case.
The studio are famed for their pioneering contributions to animation, with such titles as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro gaining Ghibli worldwide acclaim.
Over the years the studio has suffered from increasing production expenses as they’ve resisted the move to outsource animation jobs overseas. To add to their woes. The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Ghibli’s most recent movie was a flop by the studio’s standards after only grossing 5.1 billion yen.
Studio Ghibli will now focus on managing their copyrights and trademarks, generating income from its existing catalogue of works.
The last film to come from the studio will be, When Marnie Was There, an animation based on the novel by Joan G. Robinson following the story of a Anna, a sickly girl living with her foster mother in the city of Sapporo in Japan.
Are you saddened by the news that Studio Ghibli will cease making animated films?