Did you know it’s been half a decade since we last received a Studio Ghibli movie? While Hayao Miyazaki is hard at work with his latest feature, How Do You Live?, Studio Ghibli announced earlier in the year that they had another feature besides whatever Miyazaki is working on. That movie, Earwig and the Witch, was confirmed for a television release in Japan later this year, but GKIDS recently confirmed that the movie will release in the West sometime in early 2021.
The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Howl’s Moving Castle author Diana Wynne Jones. The story centers on Earwig, an orphan who eventually learns that her mother had magical powers. She then gets taken in by a strange family with the head of the house being a selfish witch with great magical powers.
On paper, it sounds like a good time. Studio Ghibli is known for their quality of excellence, so long as Goro Miyazaki isn’t directing. Goro, Hayao’s son, previously directed From Up On Poppy Hill, a fairly ho-hum and okay feature, and Tales of Earthsea, a movie universally regarded as being Ghibli’s worst film and a bad film in general. Not only that, but Earwig is set to be the studio’s first fully CG movie, and no one can tell if that same Ghibli charm that is eponymous with their work will carry over into the third dimension. I’m just glad they were able to get a talented director that isn’t Goro Miyazaki to direct it!
Yeah, Goro Miyazaki is directing Earwig and the Witch and I’m very concerned with how this project will turn out.
I mean, I happy this movie is coming to the west, especially since GKIDS is aiming for a theatrical release, but there are a lot of red flags at play here that has me more cautious than excited about the quality of Earwig and the Witch.
Earwig and the Witch will release in the States sometime in early 2021.