Isao Takahata, co founder of the Japanese animation house, Studio Ghibli has passed away, aged 82. He was best known for the 1988 war drama, Grave of the Fireflies (thought by many to be the saddest movie ever made.) His most recent film – the 2013 cartoon, The Tale of Princess Kaguya – had been nominated for an academy award for Best Animated Feature. While he didn’t direct many movies at Ghibli, he was a big producer; and he played a huge role in bringing many of those great cartoons to screen, from Nausicaä (at the beginning of the studio’s story,) to the 2016 Dutch animation, The Red Turtle.

NHK reports that he died at a hospital in Tokyo after having been ill recently. A spokesperson told The Guardian that his death “is true, but we cannot comment further.”

Mr Takahata will certainly be remembered, not just for the massive impact he had on the animation industry, but the way Studio Ghibli managed to make Japanese anime accessible to the western audience.

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