Animated anthology from Studio Ponoc follows the studio’s critically acclaimed 2017 release, ‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower.’
GKIDS has released a new clip from Studio Ponoc’s animated anthology Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1. The feature-length collection of three short films is the latest project from Studio Ponoc, the new Japanese animation studio founded by two-time Academy Award-nominee Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There) and featuring many artists from the venerable Studio Ghibli.
The studio’s follow-up to 2017’s critically-acclaimed animated feature Mary and The Witch’s Flower, Modest Heroes is an ambitious collection of three thrilling tales -- Kanini & Kanino, Life Ain’t Gonna Lose, and Invisible -- created by some of the greatest talents working in Japanese animation today.
In Kanini & Kanino, directed by Academy Award-nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie Was There, Mary and The Witch’s Flower), two crab brothers embark on a grand underwater adventure to find their father, after an accident carries him far downstream. Depicted as tiny beings in a large and merciless natural world, the brothers must evade a series of freshwater predators if they are ever to reunite with their family again.
Watch the new clip from Kanini & Kanino in the player below:
In Life Ain’t Gonna Lose, acclaimed animator Yoshiyuki Momose (key animator on Isao Takahata’s films at Studio Ghibli, and animation director of the video game Ni No Kuni) makes his directorial debut with a very different kind of story. Eight-year-old Shun loves baseball and to run. Only eggs defeat him. With the love of his strong-willed mother (Maggie Q), Shun faces the challenge of an everyday life threatened by a deadly allergy.
Lastly, in Invisible (the directing debut of Akihiko Yamashita, a talented key animator on many of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s best-known films) a man wakes up one morning and goes through his day in a world where no one can see him. But just when he seems to have reached his limit, a momentous decision gives him the chance to reclaim his humanity.
Together, the stories explore ideas of heroism large and small, and the infinite potential of the short film format allows the directors and Studio Ponoc to experiment with breathtaking, action-packed visuals, concise human drama, and gorgeous fantasy worlds, in this unforgettable short film anthology that is further demonstration of the studio’s exciting future.
From GKIDS and Fathom Events, Modest Heroes comes to more than 500 U.S. cinemas on Thursday, January 10 at 7 p.m. local time (in Japanese with English subtitles) and Saturday, January 12 at 12:55 p.m. local time (in English). Tickets for Modest Heroes are available now at www.FathomEvents.com and www.ModestHeroesFilm.com or at participating box offices. For a complete list of theater locations, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).