Takahata, Isao, 1935–2018, Japanese animator. One the most influential directors of Japanese animated films (anime), he joined Tokyo's Toei animation studio in 1959. His first feature film, Hols: Prince of the Sun (1968), was an artistic success but a commercial failure. Leaving Toei (1971), he worked with fellow animator Hayao Miyazaki on several film and television projects until they, along with producer Toshio Suzuki, founded Studio Ghibli (1985). Takahata's films cover a wide range of topics and genres, including war, Grave of the Fireflies (1988); ecological adventure, Pom Poko (1994); comedy, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999); fantasy, The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013); and romantic drama, Only Yesterday (1991). His work, which was influenced by Italian neorealist and French New Wave cinema among others, is often expressionistic (see expressionism).
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