While at Toei, Takahata met future Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, and both left in 1971 to make the Pippi Longstocking feature (with Yoichi Kotabe). According to local media, Takahata had been in declining health since last summer with a weakened heart.
In the interview, Takahata confessed to an nearly love-hate relationship with Miyazaki because their works were so different.
His most recent effort behind came in the form of 2013's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 87th Academy Awards.
As one of Studio Ghibli's leading creative lights, Isao Takahata's contribution can't be underestimated.
Takahata knew his work, using floating sketches, stood as a challenge to Hollywood's computer-generated cartoons.
Toshio Suzuki, a producer at Studio Ghibli, said the company was organising a farewell ceremony for Takahata for May 15.
"We pray that he rests in peace", the studio said, adding that he would be buried in a private ceremony attended by close family. The studio's films also deal with powerful and emotional topics such as environmentalist and the harsh realities of war.
The Co-Founders of Studio Ghibli. If we didn't call him up, he could disappear until sunset.
While Takahata may be gone, his legacy lives on in the anime work today.
The victor of many awards domestically and internationally, Takahata was considered one of the greats of Japanese animated film and is often linked with long-term Studio Ghibli collaborator Hayao Miyazaki. While many of his followers may hope for it to be a large event, it is very possible that his family and friends will want to keep it a private event to honor the filmmaker.