If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli, then it’s time you were introduced to Studio Ponoc. Founded in April 2015, Yoshiaki Nishimura is the man behind the up-and-coming studio. The producer is a former employee to Studio Ghibli, and his new venture is about to debut its first full-length anime">anime feature. The 2017 release is titled Mary and the Witch’s Flower, and Studio Ponoc has just released two trailers for the project for Japanese- and English-speaking fans.
The upcoming film is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Arrietty, When Marnie Was There) and co-scripted alongside Riko Sakaguchi. His partner wrote the screenplay for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and Hiromasa has tapped Takatsugu Murumatsu to score the film’s soundtrack. Looking through the film’s credits, there are plenty of names that anime fans will recognize. At least a dozen former staffers from Studio Ghibli have lent their talents to Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
The Studio Ponoc feature is also based on a pre-existing children’s tale by Mary Stewart. Hiromasa loosely tied the film to The Little Broomstick, a novel published way back in September 1989. The official description of the story can be read below:
“It is Tib the black cat who leads Mary to the strange flower in the woods. When she discovers a little broomstick shortly afterwards, she is astonished to feel it jump in to action. Before she can gather her wits, it is whisking her over the treetops, above the clouds, and in to the grounds of Endor College, where: 'All Examinations Coached for by A Competent Staff of Fully-Qualified Witches.' Here she discovers evidence of a terrible experiment in transformation - deformed and mutant animals imprisoned in cages. In the moment after her broomstick takes off, she realises that Tib has been captured. Returning to the College the following day, she manages to free the animals, but not before the Head of the college, Miss Mumblechook, and her colleague, Doctor Dee, have seen her. Mary manages to flee ...but the evil pair are in hot pursuit!”
In the recently released teasers, Mary and the Witch’s Flower looks to be an intense, magical rise. The trailer asks audiences what they would do if they were gifted with a mysterious power before teasing that “magic will return” in spring 2017.
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Of course, there’s also no denying the project and its familiar art style. The animation and pacing already looks insanely close to what Studio Ghibli produces - and fans are eager to see what these former staffers will roll out after years of hard work and prep.
So, what do you think? Will you be tuning into this new film? Let us know in the comments below!
[H/T] Anime News Network