Studio Ghibli Announces A Break In Production

The talk is of restructuring...


After months of worried speculation following the news last September that co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is retiring, it appeared this weekend that the worst fears for the future of Studio Ghibli had come true. Yet while the company’s co-founder and current general manager Toshio Suzuki went on Japanese TV to announce that the beloved animation studio will be taking a break from production to consider its future, he stopped short of saying it’s in danger of shutting forever.

The studio that brought the world such delightful classics as My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns and Howl’s Moving Castle will take its current focus away from making new films, and manage the copyright and licensing trademarks from its existing library. While an original report had Suzuki announcing an effective closure of the studio, further digging by the likes of Kotaku has instead pointed to team Ghibli instead taking a break to restructure the company and figure out a way to economise to maintain its future as a working studio.

Part of the reason for the breather has been the rising costs and disappointing box-office returns for some of the company’s most recent films. With the team preferring to keep production in-house as opposed to the cheaper option of sending work overseas, the expense of making new movies has become prohibitive. There’s no word on whether the company’s films in development will be permanently shuttered, and it still has When Marnie Was There – which doesn’t have a UK release date yet – ready for the world to see.

Though the company’s fortunes don’t appear to be in perfect shape, this hopefully means Studio Ghibli as we know it won’t close its doors for good, which would be a sad loss for cinema.