, co-founder of Japan’s Studio Ghibli
, and acclaimed animation director, died on Thursday in a Tokyo hospital. He was 82.
According to local media, Takahata had been in declining health since last summer. A Studio Ghibli statement said he died of lung cancer.
Takahata joined Toei Animation
after college and made his feature directing debut with the 1968 “Horus: Prince of the Sun.” In 1971 Takahata, together with Hayao Miyazaki
and Yoichi Kotabe, left Toei for Shin-Ei Animation studio. His best-remembered TV work was “Heidi, Girl of the Alps,” that he directed for Nippon Animation
In 1985, together with Miyazaki and producer Toshio Suzuki
, Takahata launched Studio Ghibli. His “Grave of the Fireflies
,” was released together with Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro
” in 1988. The two films did modest business, but later grew in esteem as classics of the animated form.
Takahata enjoyed greater success with “Pom Poko,” a 1994 fantasy-adventure that was chosen