In 2015 Studio Ponoc was founded by Yoshiaki Nishimura, who you may know as the ex Ghibli staff member that produced When Marnie was There and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Joining Nishimura at Ponoc is Hiromasa Yonebashi, the director of When Marnie was There and The Secret World of Arrietty.
Studio Ponoc has released a teaser trailer for their first feature length film, Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
Based on the novel The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, it tells of a young girl named Mary who is lead to mysterious flower by the cat Tib. There she finds a little broomstick which takes her to 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!
Other Ghibli alumni include script co writer Riko Sakaguchi (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) and Takatsugu Muramatsu (When Marnie Was There) handling the music.
With a staff lineup like that, we know we’re in for a fantastical journey!