A large statue of the robot soldier from Studio Ghibli's "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" stands guard atop the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan.

Dark Days for Studio Ghibli

A large bronze statue of the robot soldier from the film “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” stands guard atop the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan.

This weekend, producer Toshio Suzuki announced on live Japanese TV that the world-renowned animation studio would be taking a break from feature films, doing some soul-searching, and possibly undergoing some major corporate restructuring in the process. The house that Hayao Miyazaki built has released a string of hits over the years, and it is this success that has been cited as a reason for stalling the typical post-project layoff cycle that is often seen in the film industry.

While this is certainly better news that what was initially reported this weekend (full-on studio closure!), I sympathize greatly with the production staff that will inevitably be affected by this turn of events. Let’s hope that the studio can find a way to sustain its creativity for years to come without compromising its quality.

I have watched (and re-watched) many Ghibli movies over the years, so visiting the Ghibli Museum was at the top of my list of sights to see in Tokyo. If you’re a fan, I highly encourage you to make the journey.

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