Monday, 4 August 2014

STUDIO GHIBLI UPDATE: NOT CLOSING, JUST TAKING A BREAK


The magic of Studio Ghibli's features may never get lost in translation, but the words of one of its founders have been. Suzuki Toshio, the studio's general manager, announced on Japanese TV yesterday that his company would undergo a 'house-cleaning', literally, which is being interpreted as a break in filmmaking. Staff will be downsized to around 20 who will focus on the Ghibli trademarks. It was reported, incorrectly, that he had said 'dismantling', or something to that effect - the terms in Japanese are very similar, and easily misunderstood by non-Japanese speakers. With the expanding international marketplace, Ghibli has struggled to turn profits lately, the modest financial performances of The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya still not making back the money the studio has spent in outsourcing work overseas. With the retirement of Miyazaki Hayao, another of its founders and its most famous director, and Suzuki's move from producer to manager, Ghibli was on shaky ground over the last few months anyway, so this news was not entirely unexpected. Thankfully, and contradicting Screen On Screen's false report yesterday, it looks like there may remain a future for the popular anime house in making films.