TOKYO – “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” has been set as the first film to emerge from Studio Ponoc, a new animation firm established by former Studio Ghibli director Hiromasa Yonebayashi and producer Yoshiaki Nishimura.

The project is based on the classic children’s book “The Littlest Broomstick” by Mary Stewart. “Flower” is set for a 2017 release, but no distributor has yet been announced.

Yonebayashi previously directed Studio Ghibli hits ” The Secret World of Arrietty” (2010) and “When Marnie Was There” (2014.)

Studio Ghibli has operated under a question mark since the 2013 announcement that Studio Ghibli cofounder Hayao Miyazaki would retire. Though Miyazaki has recently hinted at a comeback with a possible feature version of his in progress short “Boro the Caterpillar.”

But the huge box office and export results of CoMix Wave’s “Your Name” suggests that Studio Ghibli is not the only outfit capable of success.