Studio Ghibli has been out of commission for some time now, but Hayao Miyazaki and his son have plans to bring the company back to fans this year. While the elder continues work on a feature film he's wanted to direct for years, the father-son duo has been working behind the scenes on a very different project together. Now, it seems a new movie will debut at Studio Ghibli under the Miyazaki family that is based on a novel written by Howl's Moving Castle writer Diana Wine Jones.
The report went live in Japan recently when Studio Ghibli announced it is producing a movie based on Earwig and the Witch. The movie appears to be called Aya and the Witch, and the movie will be broadcast on TV this winter rather than in theaters. There is no word if that distribution method was planned all along or whether the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak pushed Studio Ghibli to consider the alternative method.
The movie is directed by Goto Miyazaki, but his father is credited with planning the movie and developing it. Of course, producer Toshio Suzuki is helping manage the movie as always.
In fact, it was Suzuki who helped announce the movie as the revelation was a surprise to everyone. This is the first fans have heard of the project, and Suzuki said he wondered if Earwig and the Witch should even be released this year given the pandemic. The producer understands the illness is the biggest concern for people nowadays rather than film, but Suzuki knows this movie is all about Earwig's clever nature. He hopes the movie will be inspirational to those still dealing with the pandemic and went so far as to liken Earwig to Pippi Longstocking.
This movie will also break new ground for Studio Ghibli as it will be animated entirely in 3DCG. This style is one that Hayao has notoriously admonished, but his son and himself must have found a way to soften the animation to their tastes. So as this winter grows nearer, fans of Studio Ghibli can look forward to this film's debut as it makes its way around the world.
What do you make of this last-minute announcement? Are you prepared to see this father-son duo team up again? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!