(April Fools 2013) BREAKING: Disney to Acquire Studio Ghibli in 2014, Takahata and Miyazaki to Retire



The Walt Disney Company is in preliminary talks with Studio Ghibli to buy the Japanese animation studio, acquiring the rights to the studio's movie catalog and its wealth of characters.  This comes on the heels of Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise.

Furthermore, this transition is set to begin after completion of Ghibli's two major productions, Hayao Miyazaki's Kaze Tachinu and Isao Takahata's Kaguya Hime no Monogatari, in 2014.  As is widely expected, both films are intended to be the final farewell by the famed directors, who wanted to pass the torch to the next generation.

Finally, both Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki will retire once the transition into Disney's hands is complete.  This should occur through the end of 2014.  Goro Miyazaki will succeed his father as head of Studio Ghibli in Japan, and no major personnel changes are yet expected.

Details of the merger are not yet fully revealed, but it is expected that Studio Ghibli will retain its autonomy in Japan, and continue to produce their own films with Disney's help.  In the United States, Disney will proceed with an aggressive, new push to bring Ghibli to mainstream audiences.  This includes quick rollout of DVD and Blu-Ray, merchandising items (yes, kids, we're getting stuffed Totoros!), and, most of all, new direct-to-video spinoff movies featuring your favorite Ghibli characters.

Honestly, I'm stunned.  I'll have more to say about this later tonight, once I can pull my jaw off the floor.  Still, we probably should have seen this coming, right?  Disney bought The Muppets, then Marvel, then Lucasfilm.  Miyazaki and Takahata are nearing the end of their long and storied careers, and Ghibli has struggled to find suitable successors for the Ghibli studio.

25 comments:

yibblywibbly said...

le april foolz joek
so fahnny rofl xD

Russell said...

Dude, I know it's April fools and all, but I'm not sure this is something to joke about, it's more of a scare than a joke.

Hayley Harrison said...

Please tell me this is an April Fools joke...

deschain83 said...

April 1st anyone?

deschain83 said...

April 1st

kyosuke said...

Happy April Fools!

kyosuke said...

No official link to disney.
We have been trolled!
Happy April Fools!

gwern said...

Very droll, but I think you could've made this more realistic by spicing it up with some specific numbers and corporate lingo.

Emily Sampson said...

April Fools?

Zachary Krodel said...

Oh my god, I almost had a heart attack. Then I read the comments and was promptly reminded that it is April Fool's Day today. I can't believe you got me!

Pablo Calculli said...

Hahaha, that was a little too obvious.
Nice try, although.

NOT nice to see Miyazaki and Takahata and the term "retire" in the same sentence.

meongu said...

I know it's a joke, but this sounds so scary! :(

jiro7 said...

All is calm in Mitaka and at the Studio.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yes, this was an April Fools gag. The Disney Company is not about to buy out Studio Ghibli. I made sure to plan ahead this year, so I conjured up this Orwellian nightmare scenario. Totoro meets Jar-Jar, Noooooo!!

This prank definitely touched a nerve among the Ghibli Freaks, and I think it's because we're all too aware of the consolidation of media, and the squeezing out of smaller fish in this giant pond. Yes, Disney really did buy out The Muppets, Marvel Comics, Pixar and Lucasfilm. Why wouldn't they try to get their paws on Studio Ghibli?

This is also a reminder why Ghibli has received such uneven support by Disney here in the States. There's no merchandising rights, no direct-to-video spinoffs, no crossovers (we all know a Totoro-Mickey DVD would sell like hotcakes). So why should they give Studio Ghibli more than token support? What's in it for them?

Always keep in mind, this business is a racket. These conglomerates are in the merchandising racket, not the movie business. We need to be wary, and we need to be protective of smaller, independent artists, the people who innovate and create and surprise. The next Toy Story, the next Heidi, the next Wallace & Gromit, the next Totoro - it's not going to come from some executive boardroom or wealthy shareholders' meeting.

We need to preserve the artists against the enormous behemoths. We cannot allow all media to fall into so few hands. Unless, that is, you really do want our dystopian nightmare to come true...Da-Da-DAAAAA!!!

Lunarie Pentum said...

That... scared the bejeezus out of me.

FilmmakerJ said...

I don't know why you are all so scared by this. Disney hasn't really done much to ruin or even change the other companies they has taken hold of. They simply holds distribution rights and would take some administrative and creative control if the company was doing poorly. It would be disadvantageous of them to change anything about Ghibli if they were to buy them. That's the whole reason you buy another company, because they are doing well on their own.

And personally, I wish they would buy Ghibli, because I would love to have every Ghibli movie brought over here, including Ocean Waves and Only Yesterday, along with the rest that haven't been released yet. At the current clip their at, it would take quite a while more to get it all here. And they never seem to care as much about the Ghibli films as they do anything else.

Besides, who here wouldn't jump for joy to learn that Disney World just finished building the Ghibli Land?

Luis Lucero said...

^A Ghibli fan who ISN'T acting like Disney is the anti-christ when it comes to Ghibli? Give this man the internet for that kick ass post.

Josh Leitzel said...

Oh my god. You scared the sh*t out of me! I just checked back here for the first time in a while today, considering you weren't posting for a while (glad you're back by the way!), so I didn't check the date first. I almost had a heart attack. I'm not on the Disney hate bandwagon but I don't believe just because they bought them that they would release Only Yesterday and Ocean Waves in America. I'm pretty sure there's something inappropriate that comes up in discussion in the film, and that's why Disney never dubbed it even though they had the rights to it. Maybe I'm wrong though. Besides, I don't like the idea of Disney getting to buy whatever they think they can make money on, even if the companies films don't suffer in quality. I feel as though recently Pixar has fallen under Disneyitus due to being bought out, but I think it's still a bit too early to be making claims like that.

Sebastian Labi said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Why ???? they are going to do shit the studio

Yeasin Ar Rahman said...

Today is 22 may. But even i had a heart attack.You did good guy.

but however if anyone is guessing why every one is so negative disney buying something is strong no very strong measure toward experimentation. Now average Ghibli movies are made such that they picks up the investment and some additional. But disney straight looks for Billion Dollar. So he try to make which is easier to market to greater number of people and most importantly merchandises.

Did not you heard the story the movies did not make george lucas billionaire but thos little toys did.

Lyon>LA said...

I live and work in Los Angeles, in the film industry, and these people have EVERY right to be treating Disney like the anti-christ, the company is scum, AND FilmmakerJ is simply wrong. Ladies and gentleman, I direct your attention to CARS 2. You think that would have EVER been cleared by Pixar's old guard before Disney took them over? That was greenlit so Larry the Cable Guy could go and sell more McDonalds Mater Meals. Disney violates CA and Federal labor laws on a weekly basis, I have friends who two, four, ten years later have never been paid for work they did for the studio. You are correct about one thing, they would want to buy SG because it is doing well, and would stay hands off while it continued to do well, but the SECOND they thought the cash cow might stop mooing, your would be looking at Totoro 2, and it would be a swift ride downhill from there.

Fabiano G. Souza said...

Please put April's Fool at the post subject.

Faith said...

omgosh i almost died of sadness. thank goodness its a joke. AHHHH

Robin Teo said...

At least one prediction was correct, Miyazaki is retiring.

Laurel Z said...

Miyazaki are you really going to take the money and run? Disney buys out Pixar and Ghibli because they are creative competitors and Disney is no longer creative. That way the competition is stiffled and Disney makes money on their product. Make your deal but then form another company and keep doing what you do so well. Make creative films that Disney no longer makes.

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