Life after Ghibli?

Two new trailers have been released for Mary and the Witch’s Flower, the debut film from Japanese animation company Studio Ponoc.

Watch them first, then read on to find out more.

Trailer #1

Trailer #2

Studio Ponoc is a new Japanese animation house based in Tokyo. The head of the company is Yoshiaki Nishimura, who was lead producer for two Studio Ghibli films: When Marnie Was There and The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

It is clear to see the similarities with the best of Ghibli in the above clips, and it’s not just Nishimura who connects the two studios.

Hiromasa “Maro” Yonebayashi is directing the feature, having also directed Ghibli films The Secret World of Arriety and When Marnie Was There. He also worked as an animator on the likes of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Essentially, he was a key player at Ghibli. 

Maro pens the script alongside Riko Sakaguchi, the screenwriter of The Tale of Princess Kaguya, another excellent Ghibli film released in 2013 to critical acclaim.

Takatsugu Muramatsu returns as film composer, having provided the score for When Marnie Was There.

There is currently no official U.K. release date for Mary and the Witch’s Flower, but it is scheduled to hit cinemas sometime in 2017. Traditionally Ghibli films took around a year to make the transition to English and finally get a release in the U.K., but who knows if the same rules will apply here.

Whatever happens, there will be a huge amount of interest in the film when it surfaces.

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New Rogue One poster and trailer!

Last night, The Star Wars Show revealed a brand new Rogue One poster that may well be the best one yet.

Latest Rogue One poster!!

The ominous inclusion of a foreboding looking Darth Vader is a welcome inclusion. The features underneath the logo of the Shoretroopers walking through the ocean (filmed in The Maldives) will please those wanting something new, whilst fans of the original series will note the Tie Fighters and AT-ATs.

The trailer will drop later this morning. Stay tuned for more info!

Destino (Dominique Monféry, 2003)

I recently saw the news that there will be a special exhibition opening at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco on 10th July. Running into January 2016, the exhibition will cover the bond between Walt Disney and surrealist painter Salvador Dali, two men whose creative outputs couldn’t seem further from one another, despite the fact they were good friends who remained in close contact throughout their lives.

destino3

You could take every frame of animation and hang it on your wall.

Were you to create a Venn diagram of the creative output of the two artists, the small ellipse in the middle would be represented by the bizarrely brilliant Destino. First conceptualised in 1946, the film was eventually released in 2003 to the general public as an unusual opening short for Calendar Girls.

Destino may have been realised and released 57 years after it was started, but it was worth the wait. It’s a beautiful, dream-like short that has been lovingly created by a team of Parisian artists based on the original storyboards by Dali and studio artists John Hench. I’ve watched it so many times. I won’t explain the storyline – it’s less than 7 minutes long so you don’t have much to lose.

The film can be watched online at YouTube here:

As a resolution snob, the very best way to watch this excellent work of art is to purchase Fantasia 2000 on Blu-ray“>. For some reason the fact it is included on this disc is barely mentioned anywhere other than on the boxart, with Amazon choosing to just describe the somewhat lacklustre film instead. I feel this is an injustice as something as important as this should be brought to the attention of anyone who might be looking. It really ought to show up when you search “Disney Destino” or “Dali Destino”. It’s a no-brainer.

It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 2004, though both this and the extremely memorable Boundin’ from Pixar were beaten by a short called Harvey Krumpet, which you can watch here.