Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli Co-Founder, Passes Away

Studio Ghibli Co-Founder Isao Takahata Passes Away

According to Nerdist, Isao Takahata has passed away at the age of 82.  Takahata was best known for founding the animation studio Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki in 1985. Additionally, Takahata had a career in film that spanned over fifty years. Takahata worked as an assistant director, a director, a producer, and a writer on many different films. 

L-R Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki, Isao Takahata
(L-R) Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki, Isao Takahata – Studio Ghibli – photo by Gkids © Gkids

Isao Takahata contributed a great deal to Japanese animation. Not only did he co-found Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki, he was the animation director on The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun. This was one of the first films in the style of modern Japanese animation, although it did not get a lot of attention when it was first released. In fact, it was a commercial failure, and directly led to Takahata’s demotion at his then-studio, Toei. After this failure, Takahata went on to co-found fan favorite studio Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki. Takahata’s animation style was influenced by French animators. He wanted to achieve the illusion of three dimensions when animating, known in French as trompe-l’œil. 

More Than an Animator

In addition, Takahata contributed more than just his craft to Japanese animation. The documentary Ōtsuka Yasuo no Ugokasu Yorokobi notes that he was a huge creative influence on Miyazaki. His social commentary influenced Miyazaki, otherwise the latter would just do work about superheroes.  Studio Ghibli most likely wouldn’t put out the films it does without said commentary.

Isao Takahata earned an Oscar nomination for directing the film The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Kaguya-hime no Monogatari, 2013) in 2014. This was the last film that he directed, although he produced Studio Ghibli’s The Red Turtle, released in 2016. 

Our thoughts are with Mr. Takahata’s family at this time. 

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About the author

Siobhan Dempsey

Siobhan needs books to function, and therefore can infodump quite a lot about them, particularly when they're either science fiction or fantasy.

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