Filmmaker and co-founder of Japanese animation production house Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata died at the age of 82 after suffering from a recent bout of ill health.
Studio Ghibli often referred to as the Japanese ‘Disney’, founded by filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, was established in 1985. Takahata helmed some of the classic animes from Japan, such as Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday and Pom Poko produced under Studio Ghibli.
His latest and most recent work The Tale of Princess Kaguya was critically acclaimed for its making and content. The film was nominated for the 87th Academy Awards in the Best Animated Feature category. The film is often interpreted as a spiritual journey and in The Tale of Princess Kaguya, it’s about a teenage girl and how she is apprehended by Buddha and his disciples.
Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, together had created commendable artistic works that deal with pain, despair and happiness. Their movies always wrapped around the concept of humanity. The movies of Studio Ghibli characterised World War II as the main motif.
Takahata’s Grave of Fireflies is a classic example of an anti-war movie. Though at occasions Takahata has denied this praise, but critics like Roger Ebert call this movie as a classic example of an anti-war film and easily be categorised under the list of greatest war films ever to be made.
Studio Ghibli has previously announced they are temporarily retiring from the production field in 2014 but made a comeback with Miyazaki’s How Do You Live? in 2017.
Takahata is said to have been in poor health and suffering from a heart condition since last year.