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Don't Panic: Studio Ghibli Isn't Dead Yet, "Taking a Brief Pause".

You may have seen reports on numerous websites on Sunday that Studio Ghibli, the Japanese studio behind Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and numerous other classics was closing its doors. However, reports of Ghibli's demise seem to have been greatly exaggerated. The source of the stories was an interview on Japan's TBS network with Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki. A quote from the interview was circulated on a post on Tumblr, and numerous normally reputable sites have been taken in.  Luckily, Anime News Network translated the interview in full and it seems all the "STUDIO GHIBLI IS DEAD!!!" stories jumped the gun rather.

There's been a lot of speculation on the future of the studio since Hayao Miyazaki retired from feature directing. Isao Takahata's Princess Kaguya is expected to be his final feature too, so what now for Japan's number one studio? Suzuki discussed the possibility of dismantling the production department has been raised, but stated that the studio is currently thinking about restructuring or "housecleaning". Suzuki said "On what to with Studio Ghibli's future, it is by no means impossible to keep producing forever. However, we will take a brief pause to consider where to go from here". Not dead at all then. Just taking a little nap..

It's worth considering that Studio Ghibli has always made its movies in a fairly atypical way. The profits for each film are used to fund the production of the next, so they've always essentially been one flop away from doom. Luckily, they've had no misfires yet, but non-Miyazaki, non-Takahata films have not usually reached the heights of the works of their star directors. Ghibli also keeps it's animators on as permanent, salaried staff when it's more typical for feature animation for freelance animators to be taken on a by-the-feature basis. It could be that Ghibli might need to move to a more traditional model to be sustainable in the long-term. But even the dismantling of their (in-house) production does not mean there will be no more Ghibli movies.They are looking towards rebuilding the studio and creating a new structure for the next generation of upcoming animators and directors. So, the good news is that Suzuki is not suggesting the end for Ghibli, but moreover a new beginning of sorts. Just what form will this new Ghibli take? For that, we'll just have to wait and see.

[Source: ANN]