North American Premiere, Director Q&A

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Mary and The Witch’s Flower

A Film by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE – ENGLISH VERSION
In English
Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017, 103 min
Recommended ages 6+

Sunday, October 22, 5:15pm
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WITH DIRECTOR Q&A

Animation is Film is proud to present the debut film from Studio Ponoc, the ambitious new Japanese animation house founded by two-time Academy Award-nominated producer Yoshiaki Nishimura, whose reunion with fellow Academy Award-nominated, Studio Ghibli director Hiromasa Yonebayashi points towards an exciting future.

Based on the 1971 children’s novel The Little Broomstick, which was itself an inspiration for the Harry Potter stories, Mary and The Witch’s Flower is an all-ages action fantasy adventure that hearkens back to some of the most beloved animated films of all time, full of ingenious characters, jaw-dropping imaginative worlds, and the simple, heartfelt story of a young girl trying to figure her place in the world.

Mary is a plain, young girl, stuck in a rural British village with her Great-Aunt Charlotte and seemingly no adventures or friends in sight. But a chance encounter with a pair of mysterious cats leads Mary into the nearby forest, where she finds an old broom stuck in the overgrowth of a nearby tree, and the strange blue glow of the fly-by-night flower, a rare plant that blossoms only once every seven years. As the broom comes to life and lifts Mary high into the skies, she discovers a mysterious school for witches above the clouds. But the charming headmistress Madam Mumblechook and bumbling Doctor Dee are not all that they appear, in a twisting tale that reveals even the most ordinary-seeming children are capable of the most extraordinary adventures.

Featuring the voices of Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, and Ruby Barnhill.

 

Press reviews:

A SIMPLY DELIGHTFUL FILM!

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER IS DESTINED TO BE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE ANIMATED MOVIES!

A big, animated film that give you chills with a perfect combination of visuals, music and emotion. It’s a fun, family friendly adventure that dives deep into your heart and plants its own flower.  You can’t help but fall in love with it.

 — io9

 

AN ABSOLUTELY ENCHANTING ANIMATED ADVENTURE!

AN UTTERLY BEWITCHING DELIGHT!

There’s no shortage of fantastical invention to marvel at in Mary and the Witch’s Flower, a whimsical, winsome world… the wondrous hallways and classrooms, glinting gemstones, magical artifacts, and strange magical creatures always introducing a new moment of awe.

  — Collider 

 

TREMENDOUS!  MAGICAL! 

A BEAUTIFULLY-ANIMATED, FAST-MOVING, ADVENTURE FANTASY!

For longtime Ghibli fans, the release of Mary and The Witch’s Flower comes as both an immense relief and a significant surprise. Its production company, Studio Ponoc, was founded by Ghibli veteran Yoshiaki Nishimura, and the film features a variety of Ghibli vets. It’s no wonder it looks and feels so much like a Ghibli film, from the character designs to the story dynamic to the source material. But given Ghibli’s uniqueness in the world, it’s still surprising to see another studio so perfectly reproducing all the things that make Ghibli movies magical.

Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi also directed Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There and The Secret World of Arrietty, and he worked as an animator on Ghibli projects from Spirited Away to Howl’s Moving Castle to Ponyo. He gives Mary and The Witch’s Flower the same lush, hyper-detailed pastel look. His co-writer, Riko Sakaguchi, is also a Ghibli vet, and he gives the story a familiar arc of self-discovery, as Mary moves from self-doubt to world-doubt to understanding and accepting the responsibilities her actions have caused.

For Ghibli fans who were afraid they were done with new adventures, especially in the Miyazaki mold, it’s tremendous. And for people who aren’t familiar with Ghibli, but are looking for a beautifully animated, fast-moving adventure fantasy, it’s also tremendous.

 — The Verge

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Meet Your Maker

Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Hiromasa Yonebayashi

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER Born in 1973 in Ishikawa-ken, Japan, Hiromasa Yonebayashi studied design at the Kanazawa College of Art. During college, he worked part-time drawing caricatures and working on animation for television commercials. In 1996 Yonebayashi joined Studio Ghibli and worked as an animator on Princess Mononoke (1997) and My Neighbors the Yamadas […]

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Yoshiaki Nishimura

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER Born in Tokyo, 1977. In 2002, Nishimura joined Studio Ghibli after returning from his studies in the United States. He was involved in the promotions of Howl’s Moving Castle (2002), Tales from Earthsea (2006) and Ponyo (2008). He was the Advertising Producer of Le Roi et l’Oiseau (The King and […]

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Sunday, October 22, 5:15pm
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