Starved Studio Ghibli fans now have something new to look forward to. Yesterday, Ghibli veterans, under the auspices of Studio Ponoc, released a trailer for a fantastical, Ghibliesque movie called Mary and the Witch’s Flower, slated for Summer, 2017.
Based on Mary Stewart’s The Little Broomstick, in which a girl discovers a magical broomstick in the woods, Mary and the Witch’s Flower will have everything you’d expect from an OG Miyazaki film: a strong, girl protagonist, a black cat, rolling, green hills, magical drama and skyfights against flying, squirmy fish monsters.
“A fundamental part of the Ghibli story is that the heroines’ humanity, rather than any special powers, was always their greatest strength,” former Studio Ghibli producer and Studio Ponac founder Yoshiaki Nishimura told the Telegraph. “You may like it, you may dislike it, but a lot of Japanese animation has a kid solving a problem by getting inside a giant robot. The Ghibli philosophy was different, and I wanted it to be the Ponoc philosophy too.”
From the Telegraph’s interview:
Nishimura describes it as a film for children who are “moving into a 21st century that’s different from the one their parents imagined for them.” He goes on: “I think we all had a vision of what the world would be like, but it’s not the one we’re moving into. So what filmmakers should say at a time when people are losing hope – and what kind of film might help restore it in our children – are big themes for right now.”
Studio Ghibli announced they’d take a break in 2014. Not long after, Hayao Miyazaki claimed he’d go into retirement—a claim he’s gone back on several times. Most recently, in November, Miyazaki said he’s come out of retirement to help with Boro the Caterpiller, originally an animated short that Miyazaki is expanding into a feature-length film.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower looks promising and, if you’re a diehard Ghibli fan, you’re bound to have some feels watching the trailer.