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Topcraft Co., Ltd.
Native name
IndustryAnimated films, Animated television shows
FoundedFebruary 1, 1972;52 years ago (1972-02-01)
FounderToru Hara
DefunctJune 15, 1985;38 years ago (1985-06-15)
Fate Bankruptcy
Successor Studio Ghibli
Pacific Animation Corporation
Products Anime, animated feature films, Television animated series

Topcraft Co., Ltd. (株式会社トップクラフト Kabushiki-gaisha Toppukurafuto, also written as "Top Craft") was an animation studio established in 1972, by former Toei Animation producer Toru Hara, and located in Tokyo, Japan. It was famous for the production of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind . Topcraft is well known for its collaboration for hand-drawn animation titles by Rankin/Bass Productions (New York City, US). Together, they produced several well-known animated films, including The Hobbit and "The Return of the King". The studio served as a precursor to Studio Ghibli, another renowned Japanese animation studio.



The studio was founded on February 1, 1972, by former Toei Animation staff, including Toru Hara. Despite suggestions otherwise, the transition from Topcraft's demise into the formation of Studio Ghibli is not clear. The studio went bankrupt and dissolved on June 15, 1985, essentially splitting the studio in half. Ghibli was founded after the advice of Tokuma Shoten and the success of Topcraft's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind . [1] Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki and Isao Takahata acquired the assets and formed Studio Ghibli. Topcraft's founder, Toru Hara, became Studio Ghibli's first manager. [2] Topcraft's animators later formed another studio, called Pacific Animation Corporation, to continue working with Rankin/Bass on television shows like ThunderCats and Silverhawks, but eventually joined Ghibli once Pacific Animation was bought out by The Walt Disney Company and became Walt Disney Animation Japan. [3] Some animators, like Tsuguyuki Kubo, went to work for other studios, such as Studio Pierrot, working on Naruto and Bleach for them. Toru Hara died on December 14, 2021, at the age of 85.



TitleYearIn partnership with
Barbapapa 1974–1975 KSS
Easter Fever 1980 Nelvana
The Wizard of Oz 1982 Toho and Wiz Corporation
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind 1984 Tokuma Shoten Publishing and Hakuhodo
Adventures of the Little Koala 1984–1985 Tohokushinsha Film


TitleYearMain studio
Onbu Obake1972–1973 Eiken
Adventures of Korobokkle 1973–1974
Jim Button 1974–1975
Time Bokan 1975–1976 Tatsunoko
Paul's Miraculous Adventure 1976–1977
Ippatsu Kanta-kun 1977–1978
The Dragon That Wasn't (Or Was He?) 1983 Rob Houwer Film

Collaborative works in partnership with Rankin/Bass

Kid Power 1972–1974
’Twas the Night Before Christmas 1974
The First Easter Rabbit 1976
Frosty's Winter Wonderland
The Hobbit 1977
The Stingiest Man in Town 1978
The Return of the King 1980
The Flight of Dragons 1982
The Last Unicorn
The Coneheads 1983

Contributive works

The Jackson 5ive 1971–1972 Rankin/Bass and Halas & Batchelor Topcraft was one of the animation cooperation studios.
The Osmonds 1972–1973Topcraft was one of the animation cooperation studios.
Festival of Family Classics Rankin/BassTopcraft was the main animation studio for episodes 4–5 and 19.
The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie Topcraft was the main animation studio for episodes 6, 14 and 17.
Mazinger Z 1972–1974 Toei Animation Topcraft was the main animation studio for episodes 55, 60, 64, 70, 76, 82, 84, 87 and 89.
Gatchaman Tatsunoko Topcraft was one of the animation cooperation studios.
Maya the Bee 1975–1976 Nippon Animation Topcraft was one of the animation cooperation studios.
Lupin III: Part II 1977–1980 Tokyo Movie Shinsha Topcraft was the main animation studio for episodes 24, 29, 109, 114, 119, 122, 124 and 128.
Doctor Snuggles 1979–1980PolyScope ProductionTopcraft was the main animation studio for episodes 1 to 7.
Jarinko Chie 1981–1983Tokyo Movie ShinshaTopcraft was the main animation studio for episodes 42, 45, 49 and 51.
Kojika Mongatari 1983–1985 MGM/UA Television and MK CompanyTopcraft was the main animation studio for episodes 11–12, 14, 22–23, 27, 29 and 32.
Lensman 1984 Madhouse and MK CompanyTopcraft was one of the animation cooperation and photography studios.
Magical Fairy Persia 1984–1985 Studio Pierrot Key animation
Sherlock Hound Tokyo Movie ShinshaTopcraft was the main animation studio for episode 24.
Galactic Patrol Lensman Madhouse and Academy Productions Topcraft was one of the animation cooperation studios.
Star Musketeer Bismarck Studio PierrotTopcraft was the main animation studio for episodes 27 and 29.
Sangokushi 1985 Shin-Ei Animation Topcraft was one of the production cooperation studios.
ThunderCats Rankin/Bass and Leisure Concepts Topcraft was the main animation studio for the first season.
The Smurfs 1985–1986 Hanna-Barbera Productions and SEPP International S.A. Topcraft was the foreign studios dubbed in Japanese for the first season.

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  1. Denison, Rayna (1 April 2018). "Before Ghibli was Ghibli: Analysing the historical discourses surrounding Hayao Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky (1986)". East Asian Journal of Popular Culture. 4 (1): 31–46. doi:10.1386/eapc.4.1.31_1.
  2. "Hayao Miyazaki Biography, Revision 2". June 24, 1994. Archived from the original on December 3, 2000.
  3., Archived 2015-01-16 at the Wayback Machine