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 Pacific Animation Corp. 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]].