Entertainment Reviews

To Be the Next Big Studio, Not the New “Studio Ghibli”: “The Imaginary” Review

We’ve seen a lot of media based on imaginary friends as of late, from the twisted thriller Imaginary (2024) from Blumhouse to the soft, family film IF (standing for imaginary friends) from Paramount, starring Ryan Reynolds and a star-studded cast of voices for the playful figments of young children’s minds. Today, we add a third movie on the themes of constructed companions with Studio Ponoc’s latest animated film, The Imaginary. You might remember Studio Ponoc’s last feature-length project, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, back in 2017, which is often confused for an entry in the acclaimed, twice-Academy Award-winning studio portfolio, Studio Ghibli. Can Studio Ponoc break away from its Hayao Miyazaki comparisons? Let’s find out.

The Imaginary focuses on a young boy named Rudger, an imaginary friend of Amanda, a young girl about the same age. These two have plenty of made-up adventures in the attic of Amanda’s mother’s bookshop and promise they will never forget each other. Rudger soon learns, that as soon as an imaginary friend is forgotten, they are lost forever and his friendship with Amanda is tested. At the same time, Rudger is mysteriously sought after by someone who can see him and may have an … Read More