Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli Co-Founder and Director, has passed at 82

Image courtesy of Studio Ghibli

The well-known animation director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli died yesterday in Tokyo. He was 82 years old.

Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Takahata’s health had been in decline for the past year according to Japanese source. Studio Ghibli released a statement Thursday saying that he died of lung cancer.

Takahata entered the world of directing with Toei Animation with  “Horus: Prince of the Sun” in 1968.  In 1985, started Studio Ghibli with Toshio Suzuki and Hayo Miyazaki. Takahata’s “Grave of the Fireflies,” was released simultaneously with Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro” in 1988. Both films flew relatively below the radar but later produced a cult following and are now widely regarded as classics in the genre. Takahata went on to direct  “Pom Poko,” in 1994, a film that earned him a nomination for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Takahata took a long break from directing after the less than warm reception of his film “My Neighbors the Yamadas,” in 1999. He returned in 2013 for “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” a film well known for it’s spectacularly unique animation. Takahata will be remembered for his unique approach to storytelling and ability to pull on heart strings.

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