Watch this lovely tribute to Isao Takahata's groundbreaking animation career

Animation visionary Isao Takahata of Studio Ghibli fame died on April 5, and Smithsonian magazine published a great written overview that complements the video essay above.

Though he did not draw himself, he had an esthetic vision for the possibilities of animation. Via David Sims' tribute in The Atlantic:

This vision came through in Takahata’s writing and his visuals, which always relied on a hand-drawn look. In defending two-dimensional animation (over the CGI approach favored by companies like Pixar), Takahata said, “By keeping everything flat, animation allows viewers to imagine what is behind the images.” There is plenty of visual beauty to behold in each of his films, but it’s what’s going on behind them that made Takahata such a titan of both animation and cinema.

If you're not familiar with Takahata's work, check out the devastating Grave of the Fireflies, about two orphans stuggling to survive at the end of World War II:

The Sprawling Legacy of Isao Takahata, Co-Founder of Studio Ghibli (Smithsonian)

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