The Japanese animation is full of luxuriant colour and extraordinary detail, Hayao Miyazaki's influence is all over Studio Ghibli-inspired film, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. He teases her constantly. "We feel a lot of anxiety and fear, and many of us are uncertain about our future. "The last movie I made at Studio Ghibli was When Marnie Was There, a rather quiet film exploring the interior feelings of a young girl," Yonebayashi explained through a translator. Mary and the Witches Flower looks like a Studio Ghibli film, the character animation is really great, the backgrounds, while reminiscent of past Ghibli works are nice, but not on the same level of detail, which was fine to me. Mary and The Witch's Flower is the inaugural effort from Studio Ponoc, a new picturehouse founded by director Hiromasa Yonebayashi with … 'Mary and the Witch's Flower' Picks Up from Studio Ghibli—and Has a Message for Japan | Culture, 'Mary and the Witch's Flower' from Studio Ponoc. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. The film is the first feature from Studio Ponoc, a new Japanese animation studio formed by numerous Studio Ghibli veterans, and it gives animation lovers a peek into the future. Watch all you want. To continue reading login or create an account. Now compare Chihiro to Mary: She begins her adventure with a chip on her shoulder, and her refusal to submit to her elders and the magic they're obsessed with keeps her alive. A still from Mary and the Witch’s Flower. But Yonebayashi, who trained under Miyazaki, tells Newsweek that he's not necessarily interested in drawing comparisons between Witch's Flower and his work at Ghibli. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. 'Mary and the Witch's Flower' Picks Up from Studio Ghibli—and Has a Message for Japan By Emily Gaudette On 1/20/18 at 10:00 AM EST 'Mary and the Witch's Flower' from Studio Ponoc Studio Ponoc "I want kids to become more assertive, like Mary. "I think if we can start to feel close to this kind of heroine as a culture, Japanese kids might feel encouraged, as if they're getting a pat on the back and a push from behind at the same time.". Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? It's certainly energetic—Mary whips around the idyllic English countryside on her witch's broom—and the animation is lovely in a way Ghibli fans will immediately recognize—every plate of food in Mary's world bubbles and steams like Ponyo 's bowls of ramen. Mary is impulsive but self-conscious and accident prone. Her red hair, which makes her feel so awkward, gives her even stronger powers. One of the pleasures here is the contrast director Yonebayashi draws between the sleepy English countryside and the far away planet of Endor. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Every one of Chihiro's attempts to save herself is wrong, and she only finds her freedom by listening to instructions from older, magical characters. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? She finds it in the form of a rare flower, which gives her temporary magical powers – enough to carry her to the doors of an august magic academy in the sky where young witches learn broo mstick management and other skills. Wes Anderson Releases Teaser for Stop-Animated Dog Film, 'Harry Potter: A History of Magic' Gets NYC Dates, Disney Princes Are Sexual Offenders, Sociologist Says. This is one of several Japanese animated features with western stories and settings. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi worked with Miyazaki on several Studio Ghibli titles (among them Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle) and the new film is very much in their vein. Director Yonebayashi (Arrietty, When Marnie Was There) evokes a lush, British, pastoral landscape into which accident-prone Mary crashes in the quest for adventure. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. ", Yonebayashi believes a new Japan, led by young people, must be marked by determination and grit. Watch a trailer for Mary and the Witch’s Flower. But when director and Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement in 2014, fans around the world wondered what would happen to contemporary animation with a Totoro-sized hole in it. Deep in this forest, she comes across the witch’s flowers which only blossom once every seven years. They gave her magical powers. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. It's a seismic change, not only in the storytelling but the message it presents to viewers. "As an animator on other films, however, I became quite adept at fast-paced action scenes. 2017 PG 1h 43m Movies Based on Books. But Endor College conceals a dark secret, a kind of enchanted vivisection laboratory where animals are magically tampered with. No other children are around. Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura. It's rightly hailed as one of the greatest animated films of all time. And that was deliberate: Mary and the Witch's Flower is Ponoc's political statement on youth in Japan, Yonebayashi says. But with Mary and the Witch's Flower, Yonebayashi follows Mary's lead, staking his and Ponoc's claim actively and assertively. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. The only child of her own age she encounters is a local boy called Peter, who is working in the village. (Even demanding characters like No-Face and the witch Yubaba's baby, who seem difficult and selfish at first, are rewarded only when they become more docile and polite.) All rights reserved. You can’t help marvel at the luxuriant colour and extraordinary detail in the animation, whether in the English country garden or in the fantastical world of Endor. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Photograph: Altitude Film S tudio Ghibli, the celebrated Japanese animation studio founded by Hayao … The brilliant Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki may have retired from feature filmmaking but his influence is evident in every frame of Mary And The Witch’s Flower. He and Madame Mumblechook are desperate to get their hands on the witch’s flowers and to wreak mischief with the special powers they will then be given. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. But its heroine, Chihiro, gets trapped in the spirit world, spends the first act panicking and whining and only escapes by acquiescing to her magical environment. Available for everyone, funded by readers. We're finding that we can no longer rely on the mindset that many used in the past. For nearly 30 years Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli was the art form's gold standard, churning out classics like Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Princess Mononoke (1997) Spirited Away (2001) and Howl's Moving Castle (2004). Honoree Hayao Miyazaki attends the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' 2014 Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood, California. That the film is also a subversive critique of 21st Japanese culture just helps Ponoc own its place in the animation world. But its foremost teachers have a sinister plan. Ordinary girl Mary picks an extraordinary flower and travels to Endor College, a school for magic. But what makes the film exceptional is how it distances itself from Ghiblian adventures. Dir: Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 103 mins, voiced by: Ruby Barnhill, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, Teresa Gallagher, Ewen Bremner, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. We chose to make Mary and the Witch's Flower an energetic film, to let it tell the world that we're a new company.". As in all the best Studio Ghibli films that inspired it, the film also offers a sensitive and nuanced portrayal of its troubled young protagonist as she learns how to transcend her own insecurities. And in that spirit, Mary is a hero for contemporary Japan. I think the audience can learn from her and take the next step in our own lives.". But its spirit lives on in Studio Ponoc, founded by Ghibli veterans Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura. Japanese people have long felt that invisible things affect us greatly, and that we are pushed and pulled by these forces, as if by magic. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, producer Yoshiaki Nishimura and production designer Yohei Taneda attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. This weekend, American audiences will get an unexpected answer when Mary and the Witch's Flower, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, hits theaters. Studio Ghibli, the celebrated Japanese animation studio founded by Hayao Miyazaki, may have shuttered its production wing. Before she knows it, she is whisked away with the cat on a broomstick which she can barely operate to the mysterious kingdom of Endor where there is a Hogwarts-like witch’s college. The task of announcing Studio Ponoc as a legitimate successor to Studio Ghibli is not an easy one.
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