aya and the witch images

Studio Ghibli‘s first CG-animated movie is coming to theaters and HBO Max this February. GKIDS, the North American distributor for Ghibli, has set the theatrical release for Earwig and the Witch for February 3 in select theaters nationwide, with an HBO Max streaming debut set to follow just a few days later.

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earwig and the witch trailer

The first-ever CG animated film from Studio Ghibli is getting a lot of press for the anime studio – beloved for 2D classics like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro – as they enter the unknown territory of 3D animation. And U.S. distributor GKIDS is pulling out all the stops for Earwig and the Witch, directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki, by recruiting a star-studded English voice cast which includes Richard E. Grant and Kacey Musgraves. Watch the new English dub Earwig and the Witch trailer below.

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earwig and the witch us release

It only took a bit of witchy, CGI magic to revive Studio Ghibli after the revered Japanese animation studio temporarily shuttered its doors in 2014 following the supposed retirement of anime titan Hayao Miyazaki. But it’s Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki, who will direct the studio’s first film in 7 years, and Studio Ghibli’s first-ever fully CG-animated feature, Earwig and the Witch. Watch the Earwig and the Witch trailer below.

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my neighbor hayao art book

In 2017, Spoke Art Gallery held its first annual Hayao Miyazaki-inspired art exhibit in San Francisco, featuring art from over 250 artists who celebrated the legendary filmmaker with creations that brought guests into the whimsical worlds created by Miyazaki. Now, Spoke Art has collected the Miyazaki-inspired art into a book, My Neighbor Hayao: Art Inspired by the Films of Miyazaki, which goes on sale today.

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academy museum hayao miyazaki exhibit

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the few anime filmmakers who can claim crossover success, with beloved classics like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away leaving an indelible mark on global pop culture (and the latter winning the director a much-deserved Oscar). But the Studio Ghibli filmmaker has never yet had a North American museum retrospective dedicated to his art and works. Until now.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced that its inaugural exhibition will be Hayao Miyazaki, a retrospective on the filmmaker that explores each of Miyazaki’s animated feature films through his six-decade career and features original art, character designs, storyboards, and more. It will be the first time these 300-or-so objects will be available for public view outside of Japan.

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ocean waves

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Ocean Waves

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: In the early ’90s, Studio Ghibli launched an unusual experiment: the studio gave its youngest animators, all in their twenties and thirties, a chance to make a cheap, quick film to show what they could achieve. Ultimately, the experiment failed in the first two aspects — Ocean Waves went over budget and over schedule, airing on local television in 1993 to little fanfare. But what those young Ghibli animators did manage to achieve sets Ocean Waves apart from the rest of the studio’s filmography: they made Ghibli’s most queer film.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: To be honest, the film that Studio Ghibli ended up making is far less interesting than the queer-coded film they accidentally made. Ocean Waves is a wistful slice-of-life film so steeped in nostalgia that it may as well be shot entirely in sepia tones, with a paper-thin plot that is stretched over 72 slow-moving minutes. But while on the surface Ocean Waves is a film about two best friends stuck in a love triangle with a truly unlikable girl, the movie’s theme of repressed teenaged angst unexpectedly becomes a fascinating ode to repressed sexuality.

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studio ghibli theme park opening date

Get ready to spirit yourself away to Japan in two years time. Construction on the Studio Ghibli theme park is chugging along, despite delays due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But the “Ghibli Park,” as it’s being called right now, has been able to resume construction at a brisk enough pace that the theme park will be able to make its planned 2022 opening, setting an official opening date for fall 2022.

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earwig and the witch us release

Studio Ghibli‘s first CG-animated film has a new U.S. distributor, a release date, and a title for American audiences. Earwig and the Witch, titled in Japan as Aya and the Witch, has been acquired by U.S. anime distributor GKIDS, which has set the film’s U.S. release date for 2021.

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ghibli museum virtual tour

The awe-inspiring worlds of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki have always been a little hard to access, especially for those who aren’t living in Japan (or who didn’t collect all the DVDs back when they were released in the early 2000s). But 2020 and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic bring them a little closer to the rest of the world. Following the addition of all of Ghibli’s catalog to HBO Max, the Ghibli Museum is giving the internet a rare peek inside its foliage-covered doors with a virtual tour hosted on its YouTube channel.

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aya and the witch images

Studio Ghibli has built a reputation as being the last bastion for 2D animation, one of the final holdouts of that warm, whimsical, hand-drawn style before the entire animation industry succumbs to to the ease of CG animation. But the venerated Japanese animation studio, which has long stood in the shadow of co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, even closing its doors when the animation legend “retired” in 2013, needs to innovate too.

Ghibli has dabbled with 3D animation over the years, with Miyazaki using CG to animate the more intense sequences in Princess Mononoke and even creating a CG short film in 2018, Boro the Caterpillar. So a fully CG-animated feature film was only the next step for Studio Ghibli. But it wasn’t Hayao Miyazaki who would direct Ghibli’s first CG feature, but his son Goro Miyazaki, with the upcoming Aya and the Witch, based on the novel by Howl’s Moving Castle author Diana Wynne Jones. So what could Ghibli’s first fully CG-animated film look like? See for yourself with the first Aya and the Witch images below.

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