Japan animation giant Takahata passes away at 82

Studio Ghibli Icon, Isao Takahata, Dies at 82

Studio Ghibli Icon, Isao Takahata, Dies at 82

Shortly after its release, the movie was nominated for a best animated feature film Oscar award during the 87 Academy Awards in 2014.

Born in Ujiyamada (now known as Ise) in the Mie prefecture of Japan, Takahata's passion for animation was ignited by the 1952 French feature Le Roi et l'Oiseau (The King and the Mockingbird).

Graduating from the University of Tokyo, Takahata secured a job at Toie Animation studio in 1959 where he met Miyazaki. Among its early classics was Grave of the Fireflies (1988, right), which Takahata also wrote and directed. He would later be promoted to director but his debut Hols: Prince of the Sun was a commercial failure and Takahata was demoted. Mr. Takahata (1935-2018) worked on many Japanese anime series including Heidi, Girl of the Alps, 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother, Future Boy Conan, and Anne of Green Gables.

And the late Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert once called the movie "an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation".

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Isao Takahata died Thursday of lung cancer at a Tokyo hospital, according to a studio statement Friday.

Takahata is listed as producer of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Castle in the Sky. His cordial but conflicted relationship with Miyazaki is detailed the documentary In The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, which also describes Takahata's unusual, and often frustrating, approach to work.

Takahata produced around 20 movies over his long career.

Studio Ghibli is responsible for some of the most attractive and popular animated features ever made.

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