Like I said in Dream's blog on this matter, they're likely going to bring up a successor, but there's also the chance of the studio being shut down for real. If the latter happens, I would be sad. Very sad.
Things with Ghibli are still quite uncertain with the studio's future following up on the news that came out, so I don't think we're out of the woods yet fearing for a possible closure of the studio.
As for the Disney comparison, even Disney's studio went into a rut following Disney's death as the quality of their titles were very hit and miss in quality until they got into their Renaissance in the late 80s to 90s starting with The Little Mermaid.
I was pretty surprised that the Studio Ghibli had troubles. Their films do well, but it takes a considerable of time to make them into masterpieces. To support that in the long run, I can imagine the strain on its finances for this company. I recall Studio Ghibli did try to find successors to Miyazaki and Takahata. Miyazaki and his relationship with his son had a lot of tension. The two young artists who had potential, Yoshifumi Kondo and Mamoru Hosoda, are gone. To be exact, Kondo died from aneurysm while Hosoda left Ghibli to work at MadHouse due to arguments over Howl's Moving Castle.
I don't know about the future outlook on the career of animators and artists in Japan really well. Anime is a growing industry, but it's a tough industry to get into.
That's great comparison point Dream. Disney had a lot of laid-offs.
@takashichea: Disney's rut period also ticked off some animators due to creative differences and led them to jump ship to do their own work, Don Bluth being a notable example. During much of the 1980s, Bluth's production studio was a big rival to Disney, enough so where there were instances Bluth's work out-grossed Disney works at points. When Disney got out of its rut, Bluth's studio started to lose steam with Disney hammering out one quality work after another with Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Rescuers Down Under and Lion King.
I see. You know a lot about Disney and Ghibli. Disney should have learned from that phrase I heard, was it "Don't Pinch a Penny to save money?" This is common pattern in big companies. Off-Topic: Nintendo did the same thing to Sony when they partner up for a project. When Nintendo and Sony didn't agree on something (my memory is fuzzy), Sony create their own video game console. Nintendo created its own competitor in the markets.
Ghibli and Disney suffer the same thing that you mentioned earlier. I guess I'm inexperienced and naive and haven't seen what the industry is like. Working together is pretty hard, but it's worth the risk in the end.
Nintendo did the same thing to Sony when they partner up for a project. When Nintendo and Sony didn't agree on something (my memory is fuzzy), Sony create their own video game console. Nintendo created its own competitor in the markets.
That was for Nintendo's original plans to create a CD-ROM attachment for their Super NES. Nintendo snuck a deal with Phillips and Sony retaliated by taking the original plans they had for the SNES CD attachment, bumping up the specs on the prototype for it and creating the Playstation.
I'm surprised that Ghibli is closing down. I thought they were a major, well run studio but it seems like they were either 1) poorly managed to a degree where one film flopping would see them in ruin or did a really poor job of grooming talent and when one man wanted to step down, there was nobody else at the studio capable/worthy of taking them into the future.
I'm not really into kid films, feel good movies, or anime films in general so I never saw any of their work so this doesn't really impact me but I am interested in seeing how this impacts the US market going forward. In the last JETRO report on the NA market covering FY 2012, Funimation, Disney and Viz were respectively the top 3 players in the NA anime home video market with Funimation having about 44% market share and the others being about half of the company above them. Disney is that major solely off of Ghibli. With no new films coming and Ghibli only being catalog sales, I wonder if that will disrupt things and push Funimation over 50%.
@Dream: That report takes account of Bandai closing. I can only go off of reality. I'm sure it's gone up some from the 6% it was at the time, but perception doesn't equal reality. Funimation is on TV, the vast majority (well over 90%) of their releases are BD/DVD and dubbed, they pick up some of the biggest shows that get the most hype and views, and they are experimenting with expensive packaging. Meanwhile Sentai seems like they're competing but they regularly do DVD only releases to test the water, they don't dub stuff all the time to save costs, their releases are always bare bones packaging, and they don't get anything on TV. Even just going off of perception they seem like a company still trying to find it's way.
@sickVisionz: A number of Funi's titles only get DVD releases at first due to licensing agreements with Japanese media companies due to their fear of reverse importation and the company appears to be mostly hesitant with picking up niche titles, something that Sentai seems more willing to do. The combo packs are also a double-edged sword as they bump up the cost of a title greatly and have potential to alienate buyers, something that Sentai doesn't have to fear since they separately sell their titles in DVD and Blu-Ray formats. Also, the whole "they're on TV" argument holds little merit nowadays with more people wanting to legally stream content online, which Funi and Sentai both invest in.