watch the spellbinding trailer for 'mary and the witch's flower' by studio ghibli alums
Starring an aspiring young witch and her cat, the film was directed by former Studio Ghibli animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi.
Studio Ghibli has taken fans on a magical journey for over 30 years. Between them, co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata have released 18 animated films to date under the Ghibli name, and eight of those creations have landed on Japan's list of 15 top-grossing films of all time. In 2017, following the announcement that Miyazaki is coming out of retirement to direct his final feature film, Ghibli fever has reached all-new levels. See: the highly anticipated Ghibli Fest coming to U.S. theaters this summer.
After Miyazaki first confirmed his retirement in 2013, he made it clear that he didn't want the studio, or its team, to stop making films. And they haven't. In fact, a crew of former Ghibli employees left the studio in 2014, to form their own animation company: Studio Ponoc, led by former Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura.
Yesterday, the company released the trailer for its first feature film, Mary and the Witch's Flower. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (also formerly of Studio Ghibli), the film is due for release in July.
Based on the British children's novel The Little Broomstick, by Mary Stewart, the film follows the story of a little red-haired girl named Mary who discovers she has the power to become a witch for one night only. The animation is a wonderland of pastels and full of windy movement, just as you'd expect from Ghibli alumni.
While a U.S. release date is yet to be announced, Mary and the Witch's Flower will hit cinemas in Japan this July. Watch the trailer below.
Text Jo Rosenthal