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[dropcap]L[/dropcap]egendary Anime director Hayao Miyazaki will be retiring from feature film-making following the release of his next work, The Wind Rises. The news came in the form of an announcement from Studio Ghibli President Koji Hoshino at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Miyazaki’s spectacular and heart-warming anime films are adored the world over by viewers of all ages. Some of his best known works are Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro and Ponyo.

After a 50 year film career, and at 72 years old, we can hardly begrudge Miyazaki a well earned rest. After all, he has tried to retire a couple of times before without much success, and it’s looking as though this will be his third and final attempt. While it is possible that he may still work on projects that are not feature length, it seems that Ghibli fans will be sitting down to watch their last full length Miyazaki anime in The Wind Rises (no word on an exact UK release date as of yet).

While it’s clear that Studio Ghibli will continue to put out its own particular brand of fantastical and moving anime, it remains to be seen just how much of the spark will go out of the studio now that Miyazaki has called it a day. There is some speculation that Miyazaki’s son Goro might be gearing up to step into his father’s shoes; Goro Miyazaki has directed Ghibli films Tales from Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill, the latter of which opened in UK cinemas this year to positive reviews.

It’s certainly a sad day for cinema when a genius such as Hayao Miyazaki withdraws from the scene, but when he has already given us so many treasured films it seems almost greedy to ask for more. Let us know your most memorable Miyazaki moments in the comments below, or Tweet us @RooblaOfficial (We’ve got a soft spot for Ponyo, ourselves).

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