Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli Cofounder And Director, Is Dead At 82

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Isao Takahata, Japanese director and cofounder of the world-renowned Studio Ghibli, died in a hospital in Tokyo on Thursday, April 5.

Takahata was 82 years old.

A spokesperson from Studio Ghibli spoke to the public to announce the death of their celebrated cofounder.

"[His death] is true, but we can't comment further as we are trying to confirm some facts around it," the rep says in The Guardian.

Cause of death have yet to be confirmed with varying reports pointing to lung cancer and heart problems, according to Hollywood Reporter. Takahata have reportedly been hospitalized numerous times since the past summer.

Isao Takahata's Work

Takahata is well-known for directing the heart-wrenching animated film Grave of the Fireflies, which is about two children trying to survive the streets of Japan near the end of World War II. As a child, Takahata survived the bombing of Okayama City.

The famous Japanese filmmaker founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki and producer Toshio Suzuki, Variety reports.

His directing debut came in the 1968 film Horus: Prince of the Sun. Throughout the years, his other directing projects include Pom Poko and My Neighbors the Yamada.

Takahata's final directing job was The Tale of the Princess Kaguya in 2013, which ended up nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. He also served as the artistic producer of the well-received 2016 animated film The Red Turtle.

According to an NBC report, Takahata talked to Associated Press in 2015 about his all stories being about encouraging people to live life to the fullest and not to be too occupied with "petty concerns like money and prestige."

"This Earth is a good place, not because there is eternity," he says. "All must come to an end in death. But in a cycle, repeated over and over, there will always be those who come after us."

Animation Industry Mourns His Passing

The loss of Takahata, who is an icon in the film and animation world, hit the industry hard. In social media, animators and fans mourn the death of the director and producer who paved the way for so many artists in Japan and all over the world.

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