Studio Ghibli Speaks Up About Future Plans: Will We See More from Miyazaki? (UPDATED)

Studio Ghibli Speaks Up About Future Plans: Will We See More from Miyazaki? (UPDATED)

Studio Ghibli producer, manager and erstwhile president Toshio Suzuki, who brought Hayao Miyazaki out of obscurity and into the light in the 1980s, has spoken up about what the upcoming changes at the animation house really mean. And we may be seeing more from Miyazaki, who has been hot and cold about his retirement in the past. Here’s what Suzuki told a Japanese morning show: 

We’re changing the way we make (animation). … We wanted to make a dream company. We thought we would make what suited us and not make what didn’t suit us. We were able to realize (that dream) to some extent and we’re very happy about that. But now we’re at a point where we’ve got to think about what we’ll do next.

[Hayao Miyazaki] may make something again. This is my guess, but I’m thinking it will be something short.

Miyazaki has talked about returning to his manga roots in the past. But Suzuki suggests a short film may be in his future. Ghibli productions roll out slowly stateside, so this could take the form of an exclusive short at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, which houses Miyazaki’s one-off projects outside the realm of feature film. (We interviewed him during “The Wind Rises” days here.)

EARLIER: Early reports that one of the world’s most beloved animation studios, Hayao Miyazaki’s legendary Studio Ghibli, might shut its doors and stop making films seemed to be coming true. A news report translation of Studio Ghibli general manager and Toshio Suzuki’s TV announcement of Studio Ghibli’s closure was posted on an unofficial Studio Ghibli blog. stating that Suzuki was dismantling the Studio Ghibli animation production department. According to Variety, however, that report was exaggerated –or badly translated. Instead, Suzuki described “the need for big changes in all our operations.” He discussed taking a short break to assess the studio’s future, not a permanent shuttering. 

TOH! ranked the Top Ten Studio Ghibli films here.

Ghibli’s newest film, “When Marnie Was There,” opened in Japan on July 19.  Whispers of the studio’s closing have circulated since last year, when powerhouse writer-director Miyazaki (of “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away” fame) announced he was retiring and Ghibli producer/co-founder Suzuki stepped down from producing and became the studio’s general manager instead.
If shuttered, Miyazaki himself had posited that Studio Ghibli would focus on not making new films but rather on managing its copyrights and trademarks and generating revenue from its library of previous creations. In 2010, Miyazaki acknowledged that there was a potential future for the studio in such a form, telling Cut Magazine, “Ghibli should be able to continue with about five staff members as a copyright management company even if we smash the studio. So, Ghibli can say ‘We stop film production. Goodbye.’ I do not have to be there.”
According to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, Ghibli has declined to follow other animation studios in sending jobs overseas, and thus their films have become increasingly expensive to make.  According to the paper, Miyazaki’s last film, 2013’s “The Wind Rises” has yet to turn a profit, even though it has made over $90 million. Ghibli’s recent film, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” made $50 million, and was considered a flop by the studio, according to Asahi and New Cafe: “There’s no choice but to dissolve the studio, because it’s unable cross the high hurdle of announcing a new film on an annual basis.” 
“When Marnie Was There,” a ghost tale adapted from the book by Joan Robinson, got its first trailer earlier this month–it opened in Japan on July 19–and it promises the lush, thoughtful artistry of all Ghibli films. Let’s hope it is not the last.  

    

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Comments

Simon

Hey! You can’t just stop making animations, Studio Ghibli! You’re going to break everyone’s hearts! And ending on a sad movie?! Darn it!

rgm

According to the London Guardian there was a translation misunderstanding: "It was initially reported that it was shutting down completely, but as Kotaku points out, the word "shoukyuushi" that Suzuki used during his TV interview can mean "pause" or "a break" or a "breather" and he did not use the more definite word "kyuushi", which means to "stop, pause or suspend."

maria des

NONONONON.ses chien je suis entrain de pleurer pour koi ses la fin .j'aimais tellement sa on dirai que cetai réel vivent. j'aublirai jamai se qui a fai et je vai toujour i will past alog is legacy for ever just ca temps que la terre explose.jai toujour voulu voir le ghibli museum.J'ai peur que sa va être changer a cause je la situationje veudrai dire se que je pence de tout sa.Ses injuste je voudrai voir Mr.Miyasaki et MR.Takahata aven que sa sois fini pour les remercier de la pare de tout le modes et moi qui aimons vos films et de tout les beautés et merveilles que vous avés fais et tout l’équipe qui on aider pour réaliser tout sa.On dirai que vos film on chacun un âme en sois.

Drew Morton

See Kotaku. Poor translation of the text…

Verify

The TV show in question is a late night program, where Suzuki pontificated about the possibility of Studio Ghibli reorganizing it's film division. This doesn't mean it will happen, let alone actually already happened. Not a single Japanese media outlet has reported this rumor. Get your facts together, or at least bother verifying the Japanese in the program was even correctly translated.

Mary Galivan

Extremely sad news. My daughter and I are Huge fans, and Always wanted to visit studio Ghibli to see for ourselves where the magic was created. I understand they need to turn a profit. Everybody has bills to pay. It's just a shame this beautiful form of art is being lost to computer animation, as are so Many other jobs. At least the movies studio Ghibli has already made will always be treasured.

Confused

The website you link to does not appear to be the official blog of Studio Ghibli — it's a fan Tumblr.

Justin James

What a shame, they made some of the best animated movies of all time. I hope the animators all land elsewhere or gather together to start a new venture.

JeffreyATW

That's not the Studio Ghibli blog. It's a fan blog on Tumblr.

yove

This is horrible I look forward to their films. The films they have made are all so beautifully done. Last of its kind.

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