Nippon Television Network Corp. has purchased Studio Ghibli, the animation studio co-created by lauded director Hayao Miyazaki, according to AP News.
Per the outlet, Nippon TV looks to honor Studio Ghibli’s “creative independence so it can focus on animation and other artistic projects,” as it becomes the studio’s top shareholder, with a 42.3% stake. The company did not disclose financial figures associated with the acquisition.
The deal has reportedly been in the works since last year, when Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki spoke with Nippon TV’s team about the future of the agency as its leaders look to retire in the near future. Previously, the company had eyed Miyazaki’s son, Goro, who is also an animation director, as his successor. However, according to AP, Goro “had expressed doubts, saying the responsibility was too great.”
Ghibli and Nippon TV have maintained a working relationship for quite some time. The duo first collaborated on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 1985, and Nippon TV later produced Miyazaki’s 1989 film, Kiki’s Delivery Service, among other projects. Notably, in 2001, Nippon TV supported the establishment of the Mitaka-no-mori Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo.
Miyazaki wrapped up his latest film, The Boy and the Heron, earlier this year. The movie, which took seven years to complete, opened in Japan this summer, and it’s headed for North American theaters on December 8.
In more entertainment news, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell’s Good Burger 2 has received an official release date.
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