Founded in 1972 by Toru Hara after he left Creator/ToeiAnimation at a time when many staff members of Toei were thinking that the studio was jumping the shark, Topcraft was Creator/RankinBass's non–stop-motion unit in Japan. The studio mostly did TV specials, series, and a few movies for Rankin-Bass, including ''WesternAnimation/TheLastUnicorn'', ''WesternAnimation/TheFlightOfDragons'', and ''WesternAnimation/TheHobbit'', as well as Creator/HayaoMiyazaki's ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'' and several episodes of the Anime/LupinIIIRedJacket series, ''Anime/TimeBokan'' and ''Anime/MazingerZ''[[note]][[ confirmed here]][[/note]]. Many people got their start with Topcraft, like ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' creator Creator/HideakiAnno.

The studio went on a downward spiral in 1984 when Miyazaki took 70% of its staff (alongside Toru Hara) and co-founded Creator/StudioGhibli after ''Nausicaa'' came out. Another 10% left shortly thereafter, including Hideaki Anno, who went on to found Creator/StudioGainax. After a year of taking outsourced work from other studios and producing ''Anime/AdventuresOfTheLittleKoala'', the studio closed in 1985 and the remaining 20% who had not joined Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli (which ended up buying out what was left of Topcraft) or otherwise departed went to work for Creator/PacificAnimationCorporation to produce Creator/RankinBassProductions' ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' and ''WesternAnimation/SilverHawks'' until Creator/{{Disney}} bought that studio in 1988 and later re-founded it as [[Creator/TMSEntertainment Motoyoshi Tokunaga's]] [[Creator/WaltDisneyAnimationUnits Walt Disney Animation Japan]]. In any event, Topcraft will forever be remembered as a footnote in the history of animation and for Hayao Miyazaki's ''Nausicaa''.

See also Creator/StudioGhibli, where most of their staff members went to work for after Topcraft went out of business, and Pacific Animation Corp. which later became [[Creator/WaltDisneyAnimationUnits Walt Disney Animation Japan]].