The platform has announced a multi-film partnership with the Japanese animation studio, that means Netflix will become the exclusive global streaming home of future Studio Ponoc films.
This exciting new partnership kicks off with feature The Imaginary, which had an exclusive theatrical release in Japan in December, and will be available on the streaming platform later this year.
Based on a novel of the same name by A.F. Harrold and directed by Yoshiyuki Momose, The Imaginary‘s story follows young Amanda and her imaginary companion Rudger.
The duo discover a world of adventures from Amanda's attic, however an evil force threatens to destroy not just their imaginary world but their friendship too.
The film uses hand-drawn animation as well as "first-of their kind techniques of light and shadow" to create a visually stunning experience for audiences.
Yoshiaki Nishimura, founder of Studio Ponoc and producer of The Imaginary, said in a statement about the new partnership: "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 new deal will add to Netflix’s impressive collection of animated films, as nearly all of Studio Ghibli’s movies – including hits like Spirited Away and Ponyo– are already available to stream on the platform.
On top of this, Netflix has also had a successful year for their own animation features, with Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio winning Best Animated Feature at last year’s Academy Awards.
The Imaginary will premiere on Netflix later this year.
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