The torch of animation is being subtly passed at Studio Ghibli, at least for one of their upcoming projects. According to Yoko Ihira’s Toho Publicity Caravan Report, a “young director” will helm the next major work following Karigurashi no Arrietty (The Borrower Arrietty), which hits Japanese theaters this summer.
As I’m sure you can tell by the quotations, it’s not yet clear who exactly this young director will be. In the past, Ghibli President Koji Hoshino has mentioned a promotion of one of their own animators to direct, or the possible recruitment of an outside director.
Arrietty‘s director, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, is certainly a young one, and aside from that project and the unspecified “young director” film, Ghibli has previously announced upcoming works from both Isao Takahata and Goro Miyazaki.