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Mary & The Witch's Flower 1st Film to Use Free OpenToonz Animation Software

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Mary and The Witch's Flower found success at the box office in Japan, proving there's still a demand for Ghibli-style animated family entertainment despite Miyazaki's "retirement."

The film is a labor of love for previous Ghibli alumni and director Hiromasa Yonebayashi and his newly formed Studio Ponoc. The animators turned to OpenToonz Animation, a free software, to help get the job done. This choice inadvertently made animation history. Mary and The Witch's Flower became the first feature-length film to utilize OpenToonz's open-source version, although other studios, including Ghibli, have used earlier versions in the past.

Studio Ponoc used the software to scan paper animation, design color models, and create special effects like the bubbles seen in the final version of the film.

The software was originally created by Italian company Digital Video but was purchased by Japanese multimedia company Dwango, the owners of Nico Nico. Dwango is currently at the forefront of working on artificial intelligence animation techniques in both CG and in-between animation.

Yonebayashi brought the film to Miyazaki after it was completed. Miyazaki congratulated Yonebayashi on finishing the film although he declined to watch it.

Source: Amid Amidi at Cartoon Brew

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