This summer, Studio Ghibli will release its latest film, When Marnie Was There, a haunting (literally) tale of two girls whose sweet friendship is only slightly complicated by one of them maybe being a ghost.
Now, the trailer itself won’t tell you a lot about the plot, but for that we can refer to the summary of Joan Robinson’s book of the same title, on which the movie is based:
Anna hasn’t a friend in the world—until she meets Marnie among the sand dunes. But Marnie isn’t all she seems… An atmospheric ghost story with truths to tell about friendship, families and loneliness. Anna lives with foster parents, a misfit with no friends, always on the outside of things. Then she is sent to Norfolk to stay with old Mr. and Mrs. Pegg, where she runs wild on the sand dunes and around the water. There is a house, the Marsh House, which she feels she recognizes—and she soon meets a strange little girl called Marnie, who becomes Anna’s first ever friend.
Then one day, Marnie vanishes. A new family, the Lindsays, move into the Marsh House. Having learnt so much from Marnie about friendship, Anna makes firm friends with the Lindsays—and learns some strange truths about Marnie, who was not all she seemed…
Not surprisingly, the film relocates the story, here to a seaside town on the island of Hokkaido. Directing the film is Yonebayashi Hiromasa, whose last Studio Ghibli project was The Secret World of Arrietty.
When Marnie Was There opens in theaters in Japan on July 19; no word yet on a U.S. release date.
Photos: Studio Ghibli