Completes hat trick for the group that created Studio Ghibli.

This year’s recipients of the Annie Awards, the annual honors bestowed by the Hollywood chapter of the International Animated Film Association, were announced last week, and one name on the list should be very familiar to fans of anime and Japanese pop culture: Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki.

Suzuki was presented with the Winsor McCay Award as part of the Annies’ online ceremony, held last weekend. The timing might seem surprising, given that Ghibli released no new animation in 2021, hasn’t released a theatrical anime since 2014, and hasn’t had a full-fledged hit since 2013’s The Wind Rises. The Winsor McCay Award, though, is given in recognition of an individual’s career/lifetime achievements in animation, and it’s safe to say that Suzuki, who was the producer for a lengthy string of landmark works of Japanese animation that includes Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Whisper of the Heart, definitely qualifies.

▼ Suzuki is also credited as a production committee member for Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind as well as Studio Ghibli’s first three official films, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and Grave of the Fireflies.

If anything, the only argument that could be made against Suzuki receiving the Winsor McCay Award is that his career appears far from over, as he’s still heavily involved in promoting Ghibli’s animation through projects like the Spirited Away stage play, Ghibli Park theme park, and Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli Exhibition, as well as serving as producer for director Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming How Do You Live? anime film project.

“I am very happy to receive this prestigious award, as it was also given to Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata,” Suzuki said, referencing his anime colleagues as he completed the Winsor McCay hat trick for the three co-founders of Studio Ghibli and joined the group of recipients that also includes anime directors Osamu Tezuka, Katsuiro Otomo, Mamoru Oshii, and Satoshi Kon.

Source: Sponichi Annex via Otakomu
Top image: Studio Ghibli
Insert image: Studio Ghibli
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