Missing Studio Ghibli? As the legendary studio slowly awakes from its hiatus, two of the studio veterans Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura have created their own studio. That studio is Studio Ponoc and today we get our first look at their debut feature Mary And The Witch’s Flower. The UK Trailer courtesy of Altitude Entertainment.
Like some of the favourite Studio Ghibli films, Mary is based on the 1971 Children’s novel, The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, the film tells a story of a young girl called Mary who finds a mysterious flower that can give her the power to become a witch, transporting her to a school for witchcraft and wizardry that harbours a dark secret.
From first impressions Studio Ponoc it’s visually striking, evocative and rich and has the potential to fill that gap perfectly from Studio Ghibli. Nearly 4 years since Ghibli released When Marnie Was There, many of the staffers have moved over. A chance for them to start afresh but also recapture the old magic whilst putting their own stamp on the animation world.
While spending the summer with her great aunt, Mary follows a cat into the nearby woods to get away from a neighbourhood boy who likes to poke fun at her. Once there, she stumbles across some strange flowers that, unbeknownst to her, contain a magic juice that transforms her little broomstick into one that flies. The broomstick takes her to a secret location known as Endor College – a school of magic.
Mary is warmly welcomed by college tutors Madam and Doctor Dee. Believing her to be one of their own, they give her a guided tour of the school, where children discover their hidden magic abilities under the watchful eyes of the school’s professors. While witnessing all the fantastical classes and potions, Mary discovers not all is as it seems, and is soon forced to confront great danger in order to save the day.
Mary And The Witch’s Flower Uk release date seems to be ‘Spring 2018‘. The English-language voice cast includes Ruby Barnhill (The BFG), Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner, Lynda Baron, Louis Ashbourne Serkis (son of Andy), and Morwenna Banks.