In a significant move for the world of animation, Studio Ghibli, known for producing iconic works like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, is set to sell a controlling stake to Japanese TV broadcaster Nippon Television (NTV). This strategic acquisition will make NTV the largest shareholder in Studio Ghibli, with 42.3% of voting rights.
According to Variety, the decision comes as Studio Ghibli faces the challenge of succession planning. With renowned director Miyazaki Hayao at 82 years old and producer Suzuki Toshio at 75, the studio needed a plan for its future leadership.
Although Miyazaki’s son, Miyazaki Goro, was mentioned as a potential successor, he declined, believing the responsibility was too great.
Preserving Studio Ghibli’s Legacy
The relationship between Studio Ghibli and NTV spans three decades, with NTV previously broadcasting Miyazaki Hayao’s work and investing in films like Kiki’s Delivery Service.
The discussion regarding NTV’s involvement in Studio Ghibli’s management began last year when Studio Ghibli’s producer, Suzuki, and NTV’s chairman, Sugiyama Mikuni, met to address the studio’s succession challenge.
Both companies expressed their commitment to preserving Studio Ghibli’s brand value and legacy. They believe this partnership will ensure the studio’s continued focus on creating exceptional animated films.
Studio Ghibli’s recent release, The Boy and the Heron marked a new chapter in its history. Despite minimal promotional efforts, the film’s commercial release in Japan saw significant success, grossing $57.4 million.
While it may not surpass the box office records of classics like Spirited Away that can actually help you escape anxiety, it continues to make waves on the international stage, with screenings at renowned film festivals and upcoming releases worldwide.
This Studio Ghibli sale could define the future of the studios and the global animation industry, as fans eagerly await the studio’s next masterpiece under NTV’s stewardship.