Japan animation giant Takahata passes away at 82

Animator, Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata dies at 82

Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata has died

Takahata was reportedly suffering from lung cancer.

While at Toei, Takahata met future Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, and both left in 1971 to make the Pippi Longstocking feature (with Yoichi Kotabe).

Takahata's career as an animator began in 1959, when he started at Toei Animation. According to local media, Takahata had been in declining health since last summer with a weakened heart.

You may not recognize his name (he has constantly been in the shadow of Hayao Miyazaki - at least in the eyes of mainstream audiences), but he is responsible for producing and directing many animation classics. Takahata was the greatest influence on Miyazaki, from whom Miyazaki based most of his work, and eventually they became close friends.

In 2014, Takahata received an honorary award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival for his contribution to the industry. The company is responsible for creating popular anime films such as Spirited Away, My Neighbors the Yamadas, and Grave of the Fireflies.

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". In the end, Princess Kaguya wound up missing its release window by several months, as Takahata and his team wrestled with production.

Takahata was planning to do a film about exploited girls, forced to work as nannies with infants strapped on their backs.

In 2013, cinema-goers finally got to see The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, a stunning animated folklore tale that took somewhere in the region of five years to make and a budget of about $49 million - making it the most expensive hand-drawn film in Japanese history. He said this earth is good place, not because there is eternity. "There was so much more he wanted to do", Suzuki said.

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