Producer Toshio Suzuki was on Japanese TV and announced that Studio Ghibli will stop production on all their future movies, effective immediately. Sadly, this has been a long time coming. The last few Ghibli movies haven’t made a profit and the studio, one of the last holdouts on 2D animation, has struggled to keep up with Pixar, Walt Disney Animation and DreamWorks in the making money category.
And let’s not forget that the Walt Disney of Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki, recently decided to retire from making movies. Ghibli won’t be totally gone, there will still be a small staff in charge of IP management, and will be around in case Miyazaki ever decides to make a new movie again. For the most part though, Ghibli is done.
This of course means that one day Ghibli could be resuscitated if they ever get funding or are bought by a larger studio looking for some good properties they can exploit (Disney?).
This is a real bummer. Ghibli has put out some of the greatest animated movies of all time, including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and many, many more.
By the way, I just Google’d the title of Princess Mononoke to check the spelling, and you know what the first couple of suggestions were? “Full movie” and “online”. Same for Spirited Away. Boy, it would be a shame if people were pirating the hell out of the studio’s movies and that was one of the reasons for their downfall. Addendum: Yes, piracy isn’t the sole cause Studio Ghibli is suffering and, by itself, doesn’t make enough of a dent to shut down companies. Regardless, it’s a shame people pirate movies from a film studio that is clearly having financial issues. [Catsuka via Badass Digest]
Update: Kotaku reports Toshio Suzuki’s quotes have been mistranslated and that he was saying that Studio Ghibli could undergo a reorganization in the future, which includes the possibility of suspending production on future films. Either way, it seems clear Ghibli is having trouble and that its future is far from certain.