Goro Miyazaki, son of Ghibli co-founder and legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki, is back! And this time, he is bringing us Ghibli’s very first CG anime movie, Earwig and the Witch. And now, the legendary anime studio has announced that the movie will premiere in Japanese TV on December 30, 2020 via NHK. They also revealed other additional details about the anime as well.

While Goro Miyazaki is directing the movie, Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki is producing, and the man, the myth, the legend himself, Hayao Miyazaki is credited for the movie’s planning and development. Other staff members include Keiko Niwa and Emi Gunji, who both will be working on the movie’s screenplay. Both also worked with the younger Miyazaki, as well as the elder one on From Up On Poppy Hill. Katsuya Kondo is working on the character designs. Meanwhile, cast members will include:

  • Shinobu Terajima as Bella Yaga
  • Etsushi Toyokawa as Mandrake
  • Gaku Hamada as Thomas
  • Kokoro Hirasawa as Earwig/Aya

In a statement to the press, Goro says that the movie is a work that he wants to everyone to see right now, and is created by a younger staff. He also describes the heroine, Earwig/Aya, and says she’s a type of heroine that people haven’t seen in Ghibli movies until now. He says she’s a strong girl who will do everything to live how she wants to live. However, she also knows that there’s pressure involved with her, and she is weathering many hardships. But through all of this, he says that she remains positive.

As for the movie’s 3DCG nature, the director says he’s the only one at Ghibli right now who knows how to handle that method. And because of this, he was able to push the project forward without consulting anyone, even his legendary and iconic father. And speaking of whom, old Hayao himself encouraged his son to move forward with the project, according to Goro. The dirtector also said that producer Toshio Suzuki encouraged him, and the “old men” basically left him to his own devices. This led to him working on the movie with a younger staff.

This new anime adapts Diana Wynne Jones’ novel Earwig and the Witch. Of course, Jones is also the author behind Howl’s Moving Castle, which was previously adapted into an anime film by Goro’s father, the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. Harper Collins publishes the novel, and here’s how they describe its story:

Not every orphan would love living at St. Morwald’s Home for Children, but Earwig does. She gets whatever she wants, whenever she wants it, and it’s been that way since she was dropped on the orphanage doorstep as a baby. But all that changes the day Bella Yaga and the Mandrake come to St. Morwald’s, disguised as foster parents. Earwig is whisked off to their mysterious house full of invisible rooms, potions, and spell books, with magic around every corner. Most children would run in terror from a house like that . . . but not Earwig. Using her own cleverness—with a lot of help from a talking cat—she decides to show the witch who’s boss.

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Source: Comic Natalie


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