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  • Hayao Miyazaki turned down offer to watch Mary and the Witch’s Flower film by former Ghibli director

    The Secret World of Arrietty and When Marnie Was There director, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, has now left Studio Ghibli to found his own animation studio, Studio Ponoc. He even has a new movie coming up titled Mary and the Witch’s Flower. The film will be basing on British author Mary Stewart’s novel The Little Broomstick and features that certain Ghibli feel.


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    Needless to say, his film is gathering much hype back in Japan. However, it looks like a certain somebody won’t be seeing it anytime soon. That certain somebody is of course, Ghibli’s Academy Award-winning director, Hayao Miyazaki.

    According to Yonebayashi, he held a promotional event for his upcoming film last 22nd June and invited his former Ghibli workmates. He invited producer Toshio Suzuki, Grave of Fireflies director Isao Takahata, and of course, Miyazaki. While the other two accepted the offer, Miyazaki told him “I won’t see it”, and he really didn’t. But Miyazaki did give Yonebayashi some encouragement though. He told his fellow director “You’ve really put a lot of effort into the movie,” and that was enough.

    It also turns out that both Miyazaki and Suzuki gave Yonebayashi some encouragement when he was still planning the film. Apparently, they told him that he should “stay determined and true to his vision.” And when Suzuki saw the film, he told the director:

    “So this is the sort of movie you can make when you’re not under the influence of working at Ghibli.”

    As for Takahata, he complimented his former Ghibli workmate:

    “It left me with a good impression. But if I liked it, I’m worried that doesn’t bode well for it.”

    Yes Takahata-san, that means Yonebayashi is a serious rival now, so better watch out!

    And then there’s Miyazaki, who didn’t watch the film. To be fair, Miyazaki is currently working on his “final” film, and we all know how absorbed he gets…

    Yonebayashi himself doesn’t seem to be bothered by it though. He said “Making the film took longer than I’d originally thought,” he said, “and [Miyazaki] was kind enough to be concerned, saying ‘Are you really going to be able to complete it?’ So I was very glad to be able to tell him that it’s finally finished.”

    Source: Sora News 24


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