Lately, Studio Ghibli has been giving the impression that it’s on shaky ground regarding its future, but to ease your minds, news has emerged that the studio is co-producing a new feature film.
Hiromasa Yonebayashi, their youngest director who was recently in charge of When Marnie Was There, announced earlier this month that he had quit Ghibli last year, and there have been uneasy rumblings around producer Toshio Suzuki’s statement on the studio’s “reconstruction” plans. But this new production called The Red Turtle, being made in a partnership between Ghibli and the European film distributor Wild Bunch, confirms that, for the moment at least, they aren’t abandoning anime movies altogether.
The Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit, who has previously created several award-winning short films and commercials, is directing The Red Turtle alongside Grave of the Fireflies director Isao Takahata as Artistic Producer. The film’s story and storyboards were finished in Koganei, Tokyo, where Studio Ghibli holds its HQ, and is now being animated in France, with a view to being released in Japan in September 2016.