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Netflix Acquires Global Streaming Rights to Studio Ponoc’s Upcoming Animated Film Slate

Studio Ponoc and Netflix have created a multi-film partnership to bring animated features from Studio Ponoc to Netflix members around the world, with Netflix becoming the exclusive streaming home of upcoming Studio Ponoc films.

Studio Ponoc is an animation studio based in Tokyo, Japan, founded in 2015 by renowned former Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura (nominated twice for the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature, for The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There).

This announcement follows a monumental year for feature animation at Netflix, including Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and Leo, starring Adam Sandler, making the biggest debut ever for a Netflix animated film.

Quote from Yoshiaki Nishimura, Founder of Studio Ponoc and Producer of The Imaginary: “Studio Ponoc is thrilled to bring our storytelling and innovative hand-drawn, hand-painted animated films to all audiences, and in particular to children and their families to enjoy together, around the world on Netflix. Netflix’s genuine commitment to supporting animation as a vital and valuable storytelling medium, and to growing high-quality and trailblazing animation, makes Netflix a truly excellent partner.”

The name “Studio Ponoc” comes from the Croatian word “ponoć”, which means “midnight” or the beginning of a new day, reflecting founder Nishimura’s goal of a new start for globally appealing animation created in Japan that inspires and enthralls all audiences around the world, especially aiming to create films for children to enjoy with their families. Its debut feature film is the critically acclaimed Mary and The Witch’s Flower (2017) by Academy Award-nominated director Hiromasa “Maro” Yonebayashi, also the director of the Studio Ghibli films The Secret World of Arrietty and When Marnie Was There (nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature) .

THE IMAGINARY – Studio Ponoc’s The Imaginary will premiere on Netflix later this year. Cr: Netflix © 2023 Ponoc

First up out of this partnership is Studio Ponoc’s new animated feature film, The Imaginary, to be released worldwide later this year following an exclusive theatrical run in Japan.

Logline: Studio Ponoc’s The Imaginary portrays the depths of humanity and creativity through the eyes of young Amanda and her imaginary companion, Rudger. Their fantastical adventures launched from her attic, lead them to discover a magical world of creatures and places never before seen until a sinister force threatens to destroy their imaginary world and the friendship within it. Directed by renowned animator Yoshiyuki Momose (Spirited Away), The Imaginary is an unforgettable adventure of love, loss, and the healing power of imagination.

Director: Yoshiyuki Momose (Modest Heroes, Tomorrow’s Leaves)

Producer: Two-time Academy Award nominee Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There)

The groundbreaking hand-drawn animation of The Imaginary is heightened by first-of-their-kind techniques of light and shadow.

The Imaginary is based on the beloved and award-winning novel of the same name by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Emily Gravett (Bloomsbury Publishing).

Netflix’s original slate of animated features includes Academy Award-nominated Nimona, Leo, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, Academy Award-winner Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Academy Award-nominated The Sea Beast, Academy Award-nominated The Mitchells vs. The Machines, Academy Award-nominated Klaus, The Willoughbys, Academy Award-nominated Over the Moon, Back to the Outback, and Academy Award-nominated A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon. Upcoming animated features include Orion and the Dark, Thelma the Unicorn, Ultraman: Rising, Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie, That Christmas, Spellbound, In Your Dreams, and The Twits.

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