September 21, 2013
What’s The Next Move For Studio Ghibli?
Oh no, guys! It’s the end of an era!
It’s been heavily publicized that the animation legend, Hayao Miyazaki, is now stepping away from the hectic world of directing to finally enjoy the calm of retirement. What makes this announcement different from the other times that he’s yelled wolf? Among the many new elements, age would have to be the one most prominent.
Guys, the man is 74 years old!
Most people would have retired 15 years ago!
But this isn’t the time to press the panic button; if you are Studio Ghibli, then it is time to reestablish your long term goals and learn to still be able to bring box office dominance even without the long time general. So, what moves could be in the cards for the studio that just can’t fail?
Let’s take a look.
For starters, the one lucky break that the studio caught was that even though Hayao may be departing from the company, they still won’t lose the Miyazaki namesake. Although having a rocky relationship between him and his father, Goro Miyazaki has still managed to fall into the family business of directing animated movies at Ghibli (I guess the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree). Recently, a trailer hit the net for Studio Ghibli’s latest outing The Wind Rises which was written by Hayao but oddly enough wasn’t directed by him, which confused many fans. The name in the director’s box was none other than Goro and this trailer made fans think that this is a passing of the torch, a father showing his son the ropes of the craft.
Heading onward to the future, the fans and the media can still relate to and identify the Miyazaki name and at least find comfort that the Miyazaki bloodline still continues to head the creative collective of the company and not just some random CEO from some random company making things happen.
Another big move the studio could make is embrace new technology. It’s no secret Miyazaki was a guy that valued traditional methods of doing things, even animation. I’m not saying that these guys should jump into Pixar like 3D animated features, but they should try the new avenues of today like social networking, app stores and many other things. The world is more connected now and there are more ways to tell stories than just the theaters. For instance, last year the company released a video game for the PlayStation 3 console titled Ni No Kuni which went on to sell more than a million units (and that is big bucks people, really big bucks).
Now the final trump card could be that Miyazaki could step in to make an occasional short film every once in a while. Would they be completely wacky and imaginative to only his limits? Of course they will be, but the goal there wouldn’t be to win Academy Awards, it would be to give back to the audience that built the studio to what it is today.
Miyazaki may be packing his bags and head to a big nice house somewhere in Japan to enjoy a well-earned rest, but it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom for the company that he built. With the right moves they could insure another quarter century of dominance.
Image Credit: Thinkstock.com