Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki finally released a statement over the weekend about his retirement. Throughout the recording, Miyazaki is cheerful, respectful, and honourable, just as he's been throughout his entire duration at Studio Ghibli.
Among the reasons for his retirement are his age, and the duration of his projects. Miyazaki is currently 72 years old, it took 5 years from the release of Ponyo to complete the The Wind Rises. As he puts it, if he began concocting an idea for his next feature now, it may not be completed until he is 80. So Miyazaki will be taking a break from feature length directing until further notice. He also refuses to make more specific statements or promises on the matter, as he may break them one way or another.
Though we all instinctively want to cry ourselves to sleep, Miyazaki does state that as long as he can drive, he will go to the studio. Which could mean that he may continue to work on smaller projects such as shorts, manga or commercials. He also states that the future of the studio lies in the hands of the younger Studio Ghibli contributors. As long as they feel they want to continue making wonderful movies there, we will continue hearing from Studio Ghibli. Whatever the case may be, I think we all agree that Hayao Miyazaki has earned a break and we look forward to the day when his name may return to the big screen... but we won't hold our breath.
Check out the video of the announcement below.