Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata dies

Alicia Cross
April 7, 2018

He was the co-founder of Studio Ghibli and the director of some of its most incredible, enduring movies, but Thursday Isao Takahata has died.

Over night, news outlets in Japan have reported that Takahata died in a Tokyo hospital following a long illness. "We want to express reality without an overly realistic depiction, and that's about appealing to the human imagination", he said.

Isao Takahata at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood in 2015 for his film "The Tale of Princess Kaguya". It remains one of the most visceral war movies ever made, animated or otherwise.

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In 2009 he received a honorary Leopard as a Lifetime Achievement award at the festival of Locarno. - Setsuko, Grave of the Fireflies.

Strong female characters were a Takahata trademark.

His latest and most recent work The Tale of Princess Kaguya was critically acclaimed for its making and content. Prior to falling ill, Takahata had been planning to make a film about exploited girls working as nannies, with infants strapped to their backs. He was gentle but also a perfectionist, grilling his voice actors till the tone and character interpretations were just right. He said this earth is good place, not because there is eternity. Three years after it was deemed a commercial failure, Takahata left the company alongside Yōichi Kotabe and Hayao Miyazaki to embark on ventures including a Pippi Longstocking anime film that never came to fruition, and directing episodes of the now iconic Lupin the Third television series. Details were still undecided. While many of his followers may hope for it to be a large event, it is very possible that his family and friends will want to keep it a private event to honor the filmmaker.

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