It looks like animation great Studio Ghibli is really making way for a new generation as another one of its main executives has retired from producing films. Toshio Suzuki, one of the co-founders of the famed studio together with Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, has announced his retirement as a producer but will still stay on as the general manager of the company.
Suzuki served as the studio’s first president until Koji Hoshino, former president of Walt Disney Japan, took over in 2008. But he remained as the producer for all the major feature films of Ghibli up until last year. His last project was blockbuster film, The Wind Rises, which was also Miyazaki’s last feature film after announcing his retirement in September of last year. He attended the Academy Awards earlier this month, where the film earned a nomination for Best Animated Feature in behalf of Miyazaki and Ghibli. He shared during a symposium with the other nominees that he was the one who convinced Miyazaki to adapt his own manga, Kaze Tachinu, instead of making Ponyo Part II. He also accepted the Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Feature for the film last Friday.
Taking over Suzuki’s duties will be 36-year-old Yoshiaki Nishimura, who made his producing debut last year in Takahata‘s The Tale of Princess Kaguya. He is also handling the day-to-day production duties of Ghibli’s next film, an adaptation of Joan Robinson’s classic children’s novel, When Marnie Was There. Suzuki, who is considered the “face of Ghibli” because of his TV appearances and his regular Sunday radio program, said that he is stepping aside to make way for “young strength” and his decision was not linked to Miyazaki’s retirement.
[ via Anime News Network ]