Legendary Studio Ghibli founder and director Isao Takahata has died aged 82
Studio Ghibli is responsible for some of the most beautiful and popular animated features ever made.
Isao Takahata, the co-founder of the legendary Japanese animation house has passed away aged 82. NHK have reported that he died in an Tokyo hospital after a bout of ill health.
A Ghibli spokeperson confirmed his passing in a statement, saying “It is true, but we can’t comment further as we are trying to confirm some facts around it.”
Takahata founded Studio Ghibli in 1985, alongside animation god Hayao Miyzaki and producer Toshio Suzuki. After producing classics like Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro, and breaking box office records in their homeland, the studio broke through to the West when Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animated movie in 2003. Since then, they’ve continued to have hits with films like Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo.
While Hayao Miyazaki remained the best known director at Ghibli, Isao Takahata made some of the studio’s most beloved movies. His towering achievement was Grave of the Fireflies, the incredibly moving tale of two young brothers trying to survive in Kobe during the final days of WWII. It’s one of the biggest tearjerkers in the history of cinema, and helped show the world that animation could handle serious subject matter and not just be a medium for funny animals.
Takahata’s other films the moving Only Yesterday, the racoon fable Pom Poko, and most recently 2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya.