Mary and the Witch's Flower (Japanese: メアリと魔女の花? Hepburn: Meari to Majo no Hana) is an upcoming Japanese animefantasy film directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and produced by Studio Ponoc, based on The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart. This is Studio Ponoc's first feature film. The film tells a story of a young girl named Mary who discovers that she has a mysterious power to become a witch, which lasts for one night only.
Hideaki Anno (庵野 秀明 Anno Hideaki, born May 22, 1960) is a Japanese animator, film director and actor. He is best known for his part in creating the popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. His style has become defined by the bits of postmodernism he instills into his work, as well as the extensive portrayal of characters' thoughts and emotions, often through unconventional scenes incorporating the mental deconstruction of those characters. He married manga artist Moyoko Anno on April 27, 2002.
Yoshiaki Nishimura (西村 義明 Nishimura Yoshiaki, born September 25, 1977 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese lead film producer formerly of Studio Ghibli and founder of the company Studio Ponoc. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2014 for The Tale of Princess Kaguya and received consecutive Oscar nomination at 88th Academy Awards for When Marnie Was There in same category.
Hayao Miyazaki (Japanese: 宮崎 駿 Hepburn: Miyazaki Hayao, born January 5, 1941) is a Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and manga artist. A co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio, he has attained international acclaim as a masterful storyteller and as a maker of animefeature films, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest animation directors.
Born in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Miyazaki expressed interest in manga and animation from an early age, and he joined Toei Animation in 1963. During his early years at Toei Animation he worked as an in-between artist and later collaborated with director Isao Takahata. Notable films to which Miyazaki contributed at Toei include Doggie March and Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon. He provided key animation to other films at Toei, such as Puss in Boots and Animal Treasure Island, before moving to A-Pro in 1971, where he co-directed Lupin the Third Part I alongside Takahata. After moving to Zuiyō Eizō (later known as Nippon Animation) in 1973, Miyazaki worked as an animator on World Masterpiece Theater, and directed the television series Future Boy Conan. He joined Telecom Animation Film in 1979 to direct his first feature films, The Castle of Cagliostro in 1979 and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 1984, as well as the television series Sherlock Hound.
Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985. He directed several films with Ghibli, including Castle in the Sky in 1986, My Neighbor Totoro in 1988, Kiki's Delivery Service in 1989, and Porco Rosso in 1992. The films were met with commercial and critical success in Japan. Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke was the first animated film to win the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year, and briefly became the highest-grossing film in Japan following its release in 1997;[a] its distribution to the Western world greatly increased Ghibli's popularity and influence outside Japan. His 2001 film Spirited Away became the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards and considered among the greatest animation films of all time. Miyazaki's later films—Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises—also enjoyed commercial and critical success. Following the release of The Wind Rises, Miyazaki announced his retirement from feature films. He returned to work on a new feature film in 2016.
Miyazaki's works are characterized by the recurrence of progressive themes, such as humanity's relationship with nature and technology, and the difficulty of maintaining a pacifist ethic. His films' protagonists are often strong girls or young women, and several of his films present morally ambiguous antagonists with redeeming qualities. Miyazaki's works have been highly praised and awarded; he was named a Person of Cultural Merit for outstanding cultural contributions in November 2012, and received the Academy Honorary Award for his impact on animation and cinema in November 2014. In 2002, American film critic Roger Ebertsuggested that Miyazaki may be the best animation filmmaker in history, praising the depth and artistry of his films.
Isao Takahata (高畑 勲 Takahata Isao, born October 29, 1935) is a Japanese film director, animator, screenwriter and producer who has earned critical international acclaim for his work as a director of anime films. Takahata is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli along with long-time collaborative partner Hayao Miyazaki. He has directed films such as the grim, war-themed Grave of the Fireflies, the romantic drama Only Yesterday, the ecological adventure Pom Poko, and the comedy My Neighbors the Yamadas. Takahata's most recent film is The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which was nominated for an Academy Awardin the category Best Animated Feature Film at the 87th Academy Awards. Takahata does not draw and had not worked as an animator before he became a full-fledged director. According to Hayao Miyazaki, "Music and study are his hobbies". He was born in the same town as fellow director Kon Ichikawa, while Japanese film giant Yasujirō Ozu was raised by his father in nearby Matsusaka.