Ghibli Head Suzuki Steps Down, Remains as Producer
posted on by Egan Loo
Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) has announced on February 1 that former Walt Disney Japan president Koji Hoshino will replace Toshio Suzuki as its president. Ghibli has animated every film from its two founders, Hayao Miyazaki (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Howl's Moving Castle) and Isao Takahata (Only Yesterday, My Neighbors the Yamadas), from the mid-1980s until now. Going forward, Suzuki will devote himself to his duties as a producer and board director.
Before he joined Ghibli, Suzuki helped launch Tokuma Shoten's Animage magazine and served as its second editor-in-chief. In fact, he was editing the magazine when Miyazaki started serializing the landmark Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga in its pages. He served as Tokuma's production committee member on the Nausicaä film, and officially joined Studio Ghibli in 1989 to produce all of its films ever since. He has been serving as the studio's president, in addition to his other duties, since 2005. According to Variety Japan, Suzuki said, "As movie-making is where it all began for Studio Ghibli, I want to focus on that and not forget my first passion."
Hoshino first met Suzuki in 1994 when Hoshino was at Disney Home Video Japan. After Tokuma made headlines by partnering with Walt Disney in 1996, Hoshino helped turn Ghibli's films into top-selling home videos and DVDs in Japan and eventually introduce them to the rest of the world. He later became the president of Walt Disney Japan and served in that role until last year. All the while, he served as an executive producer on Spirited Away and The Cat Returns.
Soruce: Jiji Press