Studio Ghibli, home to the films of Miyazaki Hayao and many other animated masterpieces, has long been a stalwart holdout against the industry’s overall shift into 3D CG animation. Ghibli movies are often closer to moving portraits than films, their character explorations and aesthetic sensibility are frequently more important than the plot. Ghibli fans love the studio’s catalog in large part because the studio ghibli movies collection is so good at drawing you into their atmosphere, their setting, their landscape, and their sensory details. That changes with Ghibli’s newest feature release, Earwig and the Witch, coming to theaters on February 3 and joining HBO Max’s Ghibli collection on February 5. Directed by Miyazaki Hayao’s son, Miyazaki Gorō, the new film feels a little like a collage of familiar Ghibli traits, perhaps assembled to take the edge off the movie’s lackluster new visual mode. Along WIIN channel discuss content: Studio ghibli collection DVDs return with Earwig and the Witch movie trailer in 2021.
When will the Earwig and the Witch movie be released?
Earwig and the Witch Based on the children’s novel of the same name by author Diana Wynne Jones, “Earwig” marks the first solo Studio Ghibli production since the 2014 release of “When Marnie Was There.” The Japanese animation giant co-produced 2016’s “The Red Turtle.”. It is the first 3DCG animated film of studio ghibli movie collection directed by Goro Miyazaki and written by Keiko Niwa and Emi Gunji. A co-production between Studio Ghibli, NHK and NHK Enterprises, the film was scheduled to premiere at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival before the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In November 2020, the cast and crew information, along with its plot details and broadcast date were announced. On July 7, 2020, Studio Ghibli’s North American distributor GKIDS announced they had acquired the North American distribution rights to the film and that the film would be set for a theatrical release date of early 2021 in North America. On January 7, 2021, GKIDS announced that the movie would receive a limited theatrical release beginning on February 3, while it would be added to HBO Max on February 5. On January 25, 2021, GKIDS announced that the film will be released digitally on March 23, 2021, and studio ghibli collection dvds on Blu-ray and DVD on April 6, 2021.
On September 11, 2020, Wild Bunch confirmed they had purchased the distribution rights to Studio Ghibli films in France from previous distributor Disney and that they would handle distribution of the film both theoretically and on home media in the country.
On December 3, 2020, the Elysian Film Group acquired the British and Irish distribution rights to the movie, becoming its very first film acquisition after founding in February that year. This will make it the first theatrical release of a Ghibli film since Princess Mononoke not to be distributed by StudioCanal UK in the region. On February 11, 2021, Toho announced that the film would be released theatrically in Japan on April 29, 2021. This version will include some scenes not shown on the TV version.
How was the Earwig and the Witch movie created?
The decision to pass on the studio’s famous hand-drawn style has made “Earwig” a polarizing title, but the Cannes Film Festival did give the title its seal approval by naming it part of the 2020 official selection earlier this year. The English-language dub is set to feature the voices of Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”), Kacey Musgraves (“Golden Hour”), and Dan Stevens (“Legion”). Six-time Grammy winner Musgraves has also recorded an English-language version of the film’s theme song, “Don’t Disturb Me.” The theme song “Don’t Disturb Me” and ending theme “Atashi no Sekai Seifuku” are performed by a team composed of Sherina Munaf on vocals, Hiroki Kamemoto of Glim Spanky on guitar, Kiyokazu Takano of Mrs. Green Apple on bass, Kavka Shishido on drums, and Takebe on keyboards.
“Earwig and the Witch” be animated in CG
Miyazaki stood up for himself in requiring that “Earwig and the Witch” be animated in CG, and management complied. Miyazaki had already taken a partial CG plunge with the toon-shaded TV series, “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter” (co-produced by Ghibli). But he saw interesting possibilities for going full CG with this character-driven story with greater realism and more tactile performances. So Ghibli set up a new pipeline and Miyazaki flew under the radar with a small, eager, young team of animators. However, the elder Miyazaki had one critical note early on: He didn’t understand Earwig, who spends most of the movie playing a subservient Cinderella until she realizes her magical powers of persuasion.
The official “Earwig and the Witch” synopsis from GKids reads: “Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. As the headstrong young girl sets out to uncover the secrets of her new guardians, she discovers a world of spells and potions, and a mysterious song that may be the key to finding the family she has always wanted.”
Earwig was atypical of the familiar Studio Ghibli heroine: she was fearless and outspoken, and British humor appealed to the director. In 1990s England, a witch leaves her child, Earwig, at St. Morwald’s Home for Children. The matron head of the home thinks that the name is unfit for a child, and changes it to Erica Wigg. Years later, Earwig is a rambunctious 10-year-old who is very comfortable in an orphanage where everyone does what she wants. She likes living there with her friend Custard, and doesn’t want to get adopted. “What’s wonderful about her is that she’s a child but she’s able to make grownups do as she likes them to do, normally, when you’re an orphan and you’re taken in by a very selfish witch, you’re treated badly, you cry, and try to run away, but in her case, she tries to take advantage of [Bella’s] suspicion and control the witch.
Erica really wants a family
Years later the children of the home rush outside dressed as sheet ghosts. Erica sneaks off with a friend with a key to the bell tower. Her friend, a boy named Custard, is reluctant to join her sneaking into the building, but joins her as he is too afraid to wait outside. She taunts him with scary stories on the way to the roof, where they look at everything for miles. They spot a ship in the water, marveling at it and wishing they could be on it. Custard then asks if Erica has ever wanted a family or to be somewhere other than the Home. Erica shrugs it off and says not at all. She then adds that no one would want to choose her unless they were unusual. She finds a normal family to be worse, where at the Home, everyone does what she wants. She even goes on to recite the words told to her as a baby when initially dropped off at the home, that there is plenty of sunshine from the large windows and the shepherd’s pie is really good. Custard does not share this outlook and seems to really want a family.
One day, a strange couple, Bella Yaga and Mandrake, adopt Earwig against her wishes. When they get home, Bella Yaga tells Earwig that she is a witch, and that she only adopted Earwig for “an extra pair of hands” to help around the house. Earwig agrees to help, only if Bella Yaga teaches her magic in return. Earwig prepares ingredients for spells, and cleans the workroom. Tired of working, she attempts to get out of the house, only to find that all the exits have been magically sealed by Mandrake. She becomes further frustrated because Bella Yaga never teaches her magic.
Earwig and the Witch family
Earwig begins to listen to tapes from an old band called Earwig and discovers that Bella Yaga’s familiar cat Thomas can talk. The two of them enter the workroom at night to create a spell that will make them resistant to magic, becoming immune to Bella Yaga’s punishments. They also work on a spell to give Bella Yaga a literal “extra pair of hands” on her body so Earwig would be dismissed from her work. The spell is a success and Bella Yaga is furious at her extra pair of hands and casts magical worms that appear in Earwig’s room. Because of Earwig’s magical resistance, the worms are harmless and Earwig sends the worms through a hole in the wall, but that angers Mandrake. In the ensuing chaos, Earwig breaks into Mandrake’s room and discovers he and Bella Yaga were members of the band. Through her new power, Earwig is able to take over the house and have the others do what she wants. She even manages to get her friend Custard to come over for Christmas. When he arrives, Earwig’s mother, another member of the band, drops in for a surprise visit. If you want to see more herbology classes at Hogwarts, if you love exploratory side quests in video games, or if you’re drawn to the practical magic of stories like Kalila Stormfire, you’ll find Earwig hard to resist. But it’s also an improbable, odd, frequently puzzling love song to youthful rebellion, rock music, and broken found families. These elements don’t entirely cohere with each other — nor does the film even attempt to have them make sense as a plot. And while those incongruities serve to make Earwig quizzically endearing, they also reveal the gaps in storytelling ability between Miyazaki senior and Miyazaki junior.