‘The Imaginary’ Trailer Brings Gorgeous, All-Ages Anime to Netflix | Video

After Annecy premiere, new Studio Ponoc production arrives next month

“The Imaginary,” from Japanese animation studio Studio Ponoc, premieres on Netflix next month. And ahead of its debut (and coinciding with its premiere at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival), the streaming giant has unveiled a new trailer. You can watch it above.

In “The Imaginary,” based on a 2014 children’s book by British author A. F. Harrold and illustrated by Emily Gravett, follows Amanda (voiced in the English dub by Evie Kiszel) and her imaginary friend Rudger (Louie Rudge-Buchanan). Together they go on fantastical voyages, but after Rudger’s safety is threatened by the arrival of a mysterious visitor, Rudger travels to a town full of forgotten imaginary friends.

As the trailer makes abundantly clear, the Overflowing with gorgeous visuals and emotional heft. And it’s worth noting that the English language voice cast also includes Hayely Atwell, Kal Penn, Jeremy Swift, Ruby Barnhill and LeVar Burton.

If you’re unfamiliar with Studio Ponoc, they are a Japanese animation studio largely populated with creative talent from Studio Ghibli. They were formed when it seemed like Studio Ghibli was done producing movies. Their first, and until “The Imaginary,” only film was 2017’s “Mary and the Witch’s Flower,” released back in 2017. In fact, “The Imaginary” was planned to be released earlier, but, following a COVID delay, many artists from Studio Ponoc were pulled back into the Studio Ghibli fold when Miyazaki embarked on “The Boy and the Heron,” which was released last year and eventually won the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

“The Imaginary” was directed by Yoshiyuki Momose and written and produced by two-time Oscar nominee (and Studio Ghibli vet) Yoshiaki Nishimura. It hits Netflix on July 5.

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