First Trailer for MARY AND THE WITCH'S FLOWER Rekindles the Ghibli Magic
As if out of nowhere, it would seem Studio Ghibli is back for another round of animation magic, albeit under a different name. While the Japanese animation giant built on the illustrious reputations of Takahata Isao and Miyazaki Hayao technically suspended their activities as a production company in 2014, it figures that its talented employees would continue pursuing their passion in the wake of Miyazaki’s (short-lived) retirement.
Earlier today news broke that former Ghibli animators have banded together with Arriety director Yonebayashi Hiromasa and producer Nishimura Yoshiaki to form Studio Ponoc. Accompanying this unexpectedly happy announcement is the reveal of the Studio’s first project: Mary and the Witch’s Flower. As per IndieWire, the film is directed by Yonebayashi and written by himself and The Tale of the Princess Kagyua scribe Sakaguchi Riko. The story, based on a children’s book by Mary Stewart, centers on “a little girl who embarks on an adventure after being exiled to her great aunt’s house”.
From a female protagonist braving the skies on a broomstick, to glimpses of the lush countryside, a cat poking its head around a corner, and magically metamorphosing men: the Ghibli tradition seems alive and well. Take a look at the trailer below and expect Mary and the Witch’s Flower to be released in Japan in the summer of 2017.
Coincidence or not, this is about the same time Miyazaki Hayao’s latest short is said to premiere in the Ghibli Museum. Indeed, 2017 is looking mighty fine for animation enthusiasts.