Director and Studi Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata has sadly passed away in hospital today at the age of 82. He had been suffering from lung cancer.
Studio Ghibli will hold a ceremony for Mr Takahata on May 15th, details for which have yet to be announced.
Takahata joined what would become Toei Animation in 1959 after graduating from Tokyo University. He co-founded Studio Ghibli in June, 1985, after working on classic shows such as Panda! Go, Panda and Anne of Green Gables for Toei. From here he created worldwide hits such as Grave of the Fireflies (described by critic Roger Ebert as "one of the greatest war films ever made"), Pom Poko and My Neighbours the Yamada's. In total, he contributed to 21 films at the studio he co-founded.
He won several notable awards during his career, including the Purple Ribbon from the Japanese Government (1998), the Honorific Leopard Award at the 62nd Locarno International Film Festival (2209) and the Anime Prize d'Or at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival (2014).
His final film was The Tale of Princess Kaguya which premiered in 2013.
Our thoughts go out to his family and many fans. He will be greatly missed as one of the true greats of animation.