Jamie Neish: Studio Ghibli grinds to sorry halt

Howl's Moving Castle. Pic: Comp
Howl's Moving Castle. Pic: Comp
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SAD news broke this week that famed Japanese animation production house, Studio Ghibli would temporarily close its doors.

The news comes months after Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of the studio, decided to step down after the release of his swansong The Wind Rises.

For as long as I can remember, Studio Ghibli have been around. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I watched my first Ghibli film (and there’s still many more for me to watch still), but I was always aware of what they were up to.

Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service are merely some of the incredible titles the studio have released over the years, with each capturing the imagination of those young and old and proving that hand-drawn 2D animation is still popular.

The studio’s success rate had started to dwindle of late, however, with films such as Arrietty and The Wind Rises, failing to make much of an impression on audiences, despite what critics said, and the box office returns taking a hit in the process.

Taking all this into consideration, it’s not much of a surprise that the executives behind My Neighbour Totoro have decided to close the doors for the time being and take stock of their place within an ever-growing and changing marketplace.

The thought that after the release of The Tale of Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There there will be no more, is a tough idea for any film or anime fan to wrap their head around.

The simple matter of the fact is that Studio Ghilbi have delivered some of the most technically state-of-the-art and imaginative films of all time. Let’s hope they come back with renewed enthusiasm and deliver many more for years to come.

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