Hayao Miyazaki

This summer, the animation world was thrown into a bit of a tailspin when it was announced that Hayao Miyazaki had retired from filmmaking. Or had he? The news had come from translated reports from overseas, and it was a bit unclear what exactly was going on. But having just received an honorary Oscar over the weekend at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards, the director chatted briefly with the LA Times and confirmed that indeed, there will be no more movies from his imaginative pen.

In fact, the news gets worse, with Miyazaki also confirming that the beloved Studio Ghibli is also closing up shop on new movies. "At this point, we're not making a new film," he said. "I think we will not be making any feature films to be shown in theaters. That was not my intention, though. All I did was announce that I would be retiring and not making any more features."  

And Miyazaki is bleak about the future, not just for Studio Ghibli — whom he suggests isn't in a place right now to bring new talent into the fold — but hand-drawn animation in general. "If creators have the intent to do hand-drawn animation, there certainly will be opportunities for them to do that," Miyazaki explained. "But what might be a difficulty will be the financial considerations. I do think the era of pencil, paper and film is coming to an end."

So what is Miyazaki up to right now? Well, he's penning a manga ("about samurai in the 16th century, wearing full armor, battling it out with each other"), and also providing artwork for the Studio Ghibli museum. But again, no more movies, so pour one out for the legendary animator.

Below, watch John Lasseter's Governors Award speech honoring Miyazaki, and read our report of his touching tribute to the filmmaker from the recent Tokyo Film Festival.