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Studio Ghibli taking a "breather"...phew!

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From Dark Horizons...a sad day for Studio Ghibli fans IMO:

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki has announced that the acclaimed Japanese animation house is set to close down and dismantle its animation feature film department.

The company will remain, but what's left will essentially be a handful of staff to handle its licensing of brands, and to manage its trademarks and copyrights according to news reports out of Japan (via Oh Totoro and Catsuka). Employees working in other departments (such as TV/music video production) will now be employed as freelancers, reportedly many of them already are.


Aside from maybe Disney/Pixar, Ghibli has arguably been the most acclaimed animated film production studio on the planet. A year ago came word that the company's co-founder Hayao Miyazaki was set to retire from filmmaking with last year's "The Wind Rises" being his final work.

The company's first post-Miyazaki work, "The Tale of Princess Kaguya," has proven a rare box-office dud. The recently released in Japan ghost story "When Marnie Was There" looks likely to be the company's final feature film.

Ghibli was founded in June 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki following the success of Miyazaki's "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" which many consider the real first 'Ghibli' film even if it was made for other companies and released before the studio's official founding.

The company produced some of the most internationally beloved traditionally animated films over the course of the next three decades, quite a few of which are often considered amongst the greatest films of all time including the Oscar-winning "Spirited Away," the astonishing "Princess Mononoke," the harrowing "Grave of the Fireflies," the adventurous "Castle in the Sky," and the delightful "My Neighbor Totoro".

Other great film efforts from the company include "Howl's Moving Castle," "Ponyo," "Whisper of the Heart," "Porco Rosso," "Kiki's Delivery Service," "Pom Poko," "Only Yesterday," "The Secret World of Arrietty," "Pom Poko," "From Up on Poppy Hill," "The Cat Returns," "Tales from Earthsea," "My Neighbors the Yamadas" and the telemovie "Ocean Waves".

The company has also scored much acclaim for its music video and short film efforts, along with its work on the 2011 video game release "Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch".

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wow, it looks like everyone is spreading this false news!

That was apparently some foreign blogger misinterpreting Toshio Suzuki's words, and then everyone jumping the boat. Studio Ghibli is not closing or stopping making films. He said he's thinking the studio may go through some re-structuring and take a small break. He did not say it's closing.

The news about them closing is only in Western media. No one in Japan has reported such a thing.

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Not exactly the return of Studio Ghibli, but something like it -

 

GKIDS has picked up Studio Ponoc's Mary and the Witch's Flower for North American release sometime in the next few months - 

http://variety.com/2017/film/festivals/gkids-mary-and-the-witchs-flower-1202512303/

Edited by whitesnake

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Hayao Miyazaki's new anime feature, Kimi-tachi wa Do Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?) film will be a "hand-drawn action-adventure fantasy".  "Miyazaki expects that it will take three or four years to complete his new film.  Miyazaki derived the film's title from writer Genzaburo Yoshino's 1937 masterpiece of the same name.  He added that this book is a story that has great meaning to the protagonist of his film.  Yoshino's book centers around a man named Koperu and his uncle, and through Koperu's spiritual growth, it discusses how to live as human beings."  Miyazaki's son Goro "is producing a new CG work".  Also, "Studio Ghibli will continue to make films until 'the day it fails.' " 

News here - https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-11-29/hayao-miyazaki-new-film-is-an-action-adventure-fantasy/.124625

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On 12/3/2017 at 10:09 PM, whitesnake said:

Hayao Miyazaki's new anime feature, Kimi-tachi wa Do Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?) film will be a "hand-drawn action-adventure fantasy".  "Miyazaki expects that it will take three or four years to complete his new film.  Miyazaki derived the film's title from writer Genzaburo Yoshino's 1937 masterpiece of the same name.  He added that this book is a story that has great meaning to the protagonist of his film.  Yoshino's book centers around a man named Koperu and his uncle, and through Koperu's spiritual growth, it discusses how to live as human beings."  Miyazaki's son Goro "is producing a new CG work".  Also, "Studio Ghibli will continue to make films until 'the day it fails.' " 

News here - https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-11-29/hayao-miyazaki-new-film-is-an-action-adventure-fantasy/.124625

I hope it's worth the wait. 

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8 hours ago, sirtylee said:

I hope it's worth the wait.

From the description, How Do You Live? does sound rather dull, doesn't it?  I've watched all of Miyazaki's animated features on the list from The Castle of Cagliostro to The Wind Rises, and enjoyed something in each film.  Though I didn't think I'd like a film about a "fictionalized biopic of [the] designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft", it was highly entertaining.  The only Miyazaki anime features I didn't buy were Only Yesterday and Ponyo, though they were worth watching.  Still, I don't know if How Do You Live? is worth the wait.  Maybe some descriptive plot details will be leaked over the next 3 years that will make the movie something to anticipate.      

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I just started buying all the Ghibli films. Two of Takahata's come highly recommended: Pom Poko and Grave of Fireflies. I may pick them up sooner rather than later now this icon of animation has passed away. Sad news.

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"In New Book, Ghibli's [Toshio] Suzuki Reveals Isao Takahata as Notoriously Difficult Director."  "Suzuki characterized Takahata as a person who let work trump everything else even when it 'destroyed so many people'... The book, The Ghibli Textbook #19: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Ghibli no Kyokasho 19 Kaguya-hime no Monogatari) delves into the production of Takahata's last film and his artistic legacy."  From https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2018-08-13/in-new-book-ghibli-suzuki-reveals-isao-takahata-as-notoriously-difficult-director/.135444

This title, Mixing Work with Pleasure: My Life at Studio Ghibli, doesn't sound like it's the same book, but it's a 2018 book by Toshio Suzuki.  "Toshio Suzuki has devoted himself to Studio Ghibli for some thirty years, introducing such world renowned animated classics as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.  Early in his career he met the two genius directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and gained their confidence.  Working with the two inimitable directors, he experienced the joys and sorrows of filmmaking  and he continues today to guide the studio."  Mixing World With Pleasure, in English, is available in hardback and Kindle on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Work-Pleasure-Studio-Ghibli/dp/4866580224   

517Ccf8x06L._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

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Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese television documentary that played on NHK TV in Japan in 2016.  GKIDS will run the documentary with English subtitles in "more than 500 United States theaters on Thursday, December 13 and Tuesday December 18" at  7:30pm local time.  To get tickets and find out at which theaters the documentary will be screened, check the GKIDS website -  https://gkidstickets.com/us/neverendingman/?campaign=gkidssocial

"In 2013, film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72.  But he couldn't shake his burning desire to create.  After an encounter with young CGI animators, Miyazaki embarked on a new endeavor, his first project ever to utilize CGI.  But the artist, who had been adamant about hand-drawn animation, confronted many challenges.  The film even faces the danger of being cancelled.  Can an old master who thinks he's past his prime shine once again?  This program goes behind the scenes over two years as Miyazaki overcomes struggles to create his short film using CGI."  Info from the article at https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-10-18/never-ending-man-hayao-miyazaki-documentary-opens-in-u.s-theaters-in-december/.138339   

The Miyazaki documentary is getting a Blu-ray release on April 30, 2019 from Shout Factory.

Trailer - 

 

 

Edited by whitesnake

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The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, located on Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles, will open in 2019.  Its first temporary exhibit will feature "the works of acclaimed anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki presented in collaboration with Studio Ghibli.  Kerry Brougher, the Museum's director, said that this will be 'the first major exhibition of his work presented in the United States.'  The Museum website describes Miyazaki and the exhibit as follows: 'The Academy Museum's opening temporary exhibition will be an unprecedented U.S. retrospective of famed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, curated by Jessica Niebel in collaboration with Studio Ghibli.  Celebrated and admired around the world for his imagination, authorial vision, craftsmanship, and deeply humanistic values, Miyazaki continues to influence generations of filmmakers and film lovers.'  The exhibition will take visitors on a thematic journey through his cinematic worlds using original production materials from Studio Ghibli's archives and features such films as My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and Spirited Away (2001).  The exhibition will present more than 200 concept sketches, character designs, storyboards, layouts, cels, backgrounds, film clips, and immersive environments.  A catalogue, film series, and public events will accompany the presentation, and unique Studio Ghibli merchandise will be sold at the Museum's shop."  From https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2018-12-06/academy-museum-of-motion-pictures-will-feature-hayao-miyazaki-exhibit/.140441  

The Museum's webpage with info on the Miyazaki exhibit - https://www.academymuseum.org/

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From http://www.aintitcool.com/node/81616 -

"French Producer Vincent Maraval, known for BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, has made a claim on twitter that father and son Miyazaki are now working on not one, but two new projects together!  And Maraval is pretty overcome by the idea."

Maraval tweets a ton of stuff on all kinds of subjects and it's in French, so I gave up trying to find his original tweet.   

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"In an interview with Yahoo! News posted on April 5, former Ghibli producer and studio co-founder Toshio Suzuki discussed his attitude towards merchandising and current industry trends, and explains why Ghibli has not sought perpetual growth.  "I don't know if Ghibli's financial accounts are open to the public, but when you line up all the years and look at the numbers, they're all over the place.  Just when you think the studio made a huge break one year, the next year it'll make one-tenth that number.  At companies these days, everyone things, 'Let's aim for a 10% growth for next year.'  I can't think like that.  Why is it that you must have growth?" Suzuki said... Ghibli was also against merchandising.  Suzuki explained that the first My Neighbor Totoro dolls were only produced two years after the film had debuted.  The doll maker Sun Arrow produced such high quality samples that even Miyazaki, who was dead set against merchandising his films, had to concede their craftsmanship."  More to the interview at https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-04-13/ghibli-co-founder-toshio-suzuki-discusses-why-studio-did-not-seek-growth/.145563

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