Studio Ponoc is a Japanese animation studio. Founded in June 2015 by Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura and animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi and based in Musashino, Tokyo, it is largely staffed by former Ghibli animators.
Ponoc's opening logo features Mary Smith, the titular character of their first film, Mary and The Witch's Flower. Mary also serves as the company's mascot.
- Mary and The Witch's Flower (2017)
- Modest Heroes (2018)
- Untitled short film for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Studio Ponoc provides examples of the following:
- Meaningful Name: The studio's name comes from "ponoć", the Serbo-Croatian word for "midnight". Nishimura intended it to represent the beginning of a new day, signifying the studio's hope to carry on the traditions started by Ghibli.
- Production Posse: Many of the animators have previously worked for Ghibli, including Hiromasa Yonebayashi and producer Yoshiaki Nishimura.
- Spiritual Successor: Ponoc's staff is mostly animators from Ghibli, and when you watch Mary and the Witch's Flower, the influences are crystal clear, from character and location designs to animation touches to story elements.
- Start My Own: After Ghibli temporarily shut down to restructure itself, Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura left Ghibli to found Ponoc, taking some of the staff from The Tale of the Princess Kaguya with them. Not to mention that Nishimura received assistance from Hideaki Anno to form a division for background artists who worked at Ghibli.