Further details have emerged regarding Studio Ghibli’s scaling back of its operations which lead to quick flying and incorrect reports yesterday that the Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli would be closed and dissolved.
With Miyazaki’s retirement, the elderly Isao Takahata’s recent “Tale of Princess Kaguya” potentially being his last film, and producer Toshio Suzuki segueing into more managerial duties these days, Variety reports the company is “taking a breather” to assess the studio’s future and what new (and more economically tight) direction it will go in.
This means restructuring that will include “big changes in all aspects of our operations” according to Suzuki. The main change is the shedding of a large number of full-time staff. Instead, Ghibli will adopt a model more common in the Japanese animation business – hiring animators on a per-project basis and dissolving the production teams, save for a few key staff, when the project is completed.
The scale back has actually been expected following the retirement of Miyazaki last September, but even the company probably wasn’t expecting the reaction that hit news sites and social media over the past 24 hours.
How long this breather will be, and how long before we see a new Ghibli film production is unknown at this time. One era of Ghibli has certainly ended, who will be the stars of the next one and will it be able to match that success?