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Studio Ghibli co-founder and animation director Isao Takahata passes away in Tokyo

Date: 2018 April 07 11:21

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Isao Takahata, the co-founder of the legendary Studio Ghibli, has passed away in Tokyo at the age of 82. The animation director who worked alongside fellow director and studio founder Hayao Miyazaki was an integral part of the studio as well as being one of the major directors throughout its history. Among his many personal accomplishments were the animated films My Neighbours the Yamadas, Pom Poko, Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday and the Oscar-nominated The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.

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Before founding and working at Ghibli, Takahata worked at Toei Animation, mentored by Yasuo Otsuka (Alakazam the Great, Puss in Boots, Little Norse Prince). His first solo directing job, Horus, Prince of the Sun, was acclaimed but was not a financial success, leading to his demotion. Looking for an avenue out, his fellow Toei animator Hayao Miyazaki and he would strike out on their own with others and try and direct their own projects. After failing to secure the rights to adapt Pippi Longstocking from its creator, they successfully adapted Heidi, Girl of the Alps which led to another literary creation made into an animated project, Anne of Green Gables. In 1985, he, Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki and Yasuyoshi Tokuma founded Studio Ghibli which would go on to become one of the most renowned animation studios in both Japan and internationally. His subject matter as a director at Ghibli ranged from anti-war tragedy (Grave of the Fireflies), comedy (My Neighbours the Yamadas), drama (Only Yesterday) and fantasy (Princess Kaguya). The Tale of the Princess Kaguya was Takahata's last project as both he and Miyazaki had planned their final projects at the studio together. It was honoured with a Best Animated Feature Award nomination, losing out to Disney's Big Hero 6.

For more coverage on Takahata's death please see these articles from ANN, Variety, Time, Anime Limited and Cartoon Brew.

Source: Otaku News
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