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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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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In January of 2019, we learned that legendary Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and his filmmaker son, Goro Miyazaki, were working on new movies. The elder Miyazaki’s film still has years of work left before it will be completed, and the younger’s movie was previously shrouded in mystery. All we knew about it was that it would be a rare all-CG movie for the venerated Studio Ghibli, and that it was based on an English book about “a very wise girl.”
Today, more details came to light. Goro Miyazaki’s mysterious movie was announced as part of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival’s virtual lineup, and the title has been revealed: it’s called Aya to Majo, or Aya and the Witch, and it’s based on a book by the author of Howl’s Moving Castle, which Studio Ghibli adapted into a movie in 2004. Read More »
Hayao Miyazaki is returning to Studio Ghibli after the animation studio closed down following his 2013 retirement. Most of his former employees and coworkers ended up migrating to the newly established Studio Ponoc, but that doesn’t mean Miyazaki will be the only one occupying the dusty offices at Ghibli. The elder Miyazaki is bringing his son and filmmaker Goro Miyazaki with him, and the pair are reportedly working on two new Studio Ghibli movies.
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Briefly: The output of Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli has been aimed primarily at movie theaters, but the company is aiming at television for its next project. In August, a television series based on Astrid Lindgren‘s novel Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, will air in Japan. The book has been turned into a film in Sweden, as well as a stage play and musical.
The series was created as a coproduction with Polygon Pictures, and Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki is directing. The book is about Ronia, daughter of robber chieftain, and in the novel she develops a relationship with the son of a rival chieftain. They spend time together in secret until a chain of events exposes their friendship. [via NHK]
In March, Studio Ghibli’s latest film, From Up on Poppy Hill, comes to the US. Directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki, the film is a coming-of-age story set in Japan’s transformative post-war days. The animation is characteristically gorgeous, while the real-world setting sets it apart from most of Ghibli’s output.
This first US trailer, which comes from new-ish Ghibli distributor GKids, features the English-language voice cast (Jamie Lee Curtis, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard, Aubrey Plaza). Some of the previous trailers have been subtitled, but this will give you an idea of how the film will play in the States, should you happen to catch a showing with the English track. Read More »
From Up On Poppy Hill, co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Gor? Miyazaki, was Studio Ghibli’s big 2011 release. It tells the story of two high school students hoping to clean up their hometown who run up against the corporate mindset of a local businessman. When the film came out in Japan last summer, it was a success for the legendary company and soon after, producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy decided to bring it to North America via GKids. The film will be released in November for an Oscar qualifying run followed by a wider release in March 2013. Its impressive English language voice cast has now been revealed. Read the full list after the jump. Read More »
From Up on Poppy Hill is a rare realistic film from renowned Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, and we’ve got the first English-subtitled trailer. (We featured a Japanese-only look at the film last year, around when the movie opened in Japan.)
Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away) conceived and scripted the film, which was directed by his son, Goro Miyazaki. This looks like a fresh start for Goro, whose debut Tales From Earthsea was often criticized at the time of its release. And it doesn’t hurt that this film resembles another realistic Studio Ghibli project, Whisper of the Heart. Check out the trailer below. Read More »
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This weekend marks the release of the first new Studio Ghibli film on U.S. screens since 2009. It’s called The Secret World of Arriety and besides being a very sweet, enjoyable film, the title is also a great way to describe the world of Ghibli itself. Everything about their productions is shrouded in secrecy. Then, one day, as if by magic, a lovely movie appears, beautifully animated for the world to see.
Due to that level of secrecy, it’s rare that any worthwhile information on a Ghibli project pops up before it’s good and ready. But today it has. After the jump, read some information about a Ghibli project involving a samurai and another potentially by the director of Evangelion. Read More »
We just saw a new trailer for Arrietty, the Studio Ghibli movie directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and co-written by Hayao Miyazaki that was released in Japan not long ago and will hit the US early next year. But there is also a new trailer for another Ghibli film, Kokuriko-Zaka Kara, which was directed by the younger Miyazaki, Goro Miyazaki.
This is one of our first looks at that one, and while it features no English dialogue or titles, you can get a good view of the gorgeous and classic-style animation after the break. Read More »