Hayao Miyazaki’s renowned Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, said that it will be acquired by private broadcaster Nippon TV, citing his advanced age.
Studio Ghibli, which Miyazaki started in 1985 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest animators in history, is best known for producing the beloved animated films My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, both of which won Oscars.
Miyazaki is now 82 years old, while the top producer at the studio is 75.
In a joint statement between Studio Ghibli and NTV, said “We have long struggled with the question: who the successor will be”.
Goro Miyazaki, Miyazaki’s son and anime director, was regularly pushed as a prospective successor.
However, according to the statement, he “firmly rejected” the notion since “it’s difficult to shoulder Ghibli all by myself.”
As a result, the studio was forced to look for new individuals to handle business management.
“It is against this backdrop that the negotiation started between Studio Ghibli and Nippon TV,” they said.
NTV claimed Ghibli is a studio “we can be proud of before the world” and promised that after the takeover, its independence would be protected.
The broadcaster said that it would receive 42.3 percent of the voting rights in the studio, which would thereafter become a subsidiary of its own.
The agreement between Ghibli and NTV, under which Miyazaki will take on the role of honorary chairman of the studio, did not include any financial information. Ghibli will be run by a senior NTV executive.
Miyazaki’s fanciful representations of nature and machines, as well as famous creatures such as the lovable forest spirit creature Totoro, have earned him a worldwide cult following.
Miyazaki announced in 2013 that he would stop making full-length movies because he could not keep up the frantic pace of his meticulous work style.
Four years later, his production company announced that he was coming out of retirement to make what would be “his final film, considering his age.”
His first film in ten years, The Boy and the Heron, debuted in theaters in July.