Aya and the Witch is Studio Ghibli’s Newest CGI Film

Earwig and the witch

Studio Ghibli, has announced a brand new CGI film adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ fantasy novel: Earwig and the Witch. You may recognize the name of that author from one of Studio Ghibli’s other successful films, Howl’s Moving Castle. Ms. Jones wrote both books, as well as many other great ones (including two more in the “Howl Series”). If you love the whimsical, fantastical nature of Howl’s Moving Castle, check out the novel, and more of Jones’ books. Maybe get a head-start on Earwig and the Witch.

New Ghibli film Aya and the Witch directed by Goro Miyazaki

The Ghibli film is titled Aya and the Witch, and Gorō Miyazaki (son of Hayao Miyazaki, Tales From Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill) will direct. Producer Toshio Suzuki explains the story follows a “cheeky but somehow cute” little girl. According to the book, Aya is taken from her orphanage and brought to the house of a shifty witch. She soon finds out she must serve this witch, or find her own way to change her situation and future. Little does she know, she’s a witch as well. 

“If Pippi Longstocking is the story of the world’s strongest girl, Aya is the story of the world’s smartest girl,” Suzuki said. Then added that after racking his brain, he realized little Aya reminded him of Gorō. “When I told him that, he was bashful.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, Suzuki said the following about the film’s release after the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Can Aya and the Witch do well after corona? I thought about that many times when I was watching the early footage. Then I realized the big characteristic of the movie is Aya’s wisdom. If only we have wisdom, we can overcome anything in any era. When I thought about that, I was relieved.”

Studio Ghibli’s first CGI film

This will be the first computer-generated film by Studio Ghibli. This surely bring a different element into the final product. The film will be the studio’s first release since When Marnie Was There back in 2014. Aya and the Witch doesn’t have an exact release date yet, but will be broadcast on NHK General TV in Japan at the end of 2020. The film was also one of 56 chosen at the Cannes Film Festival this month for the “Official Selection 2020” films.

According to Natalie.nu, Goro Miyazaki just issued this statement as well (translated here in English):

“Now, in our country, there are many adults and few children.
I think the current children will be tough because we have to deal with many adults with that small number. When I was thinking about that, I met (Aya). And I thought, ‘Yes, should I do that?’ What would Aya do with the annoying adults? Please see ‘(Aya) and the Witch’. I hate to say that our cute Aya encourages children and cheers up adults.”

We’re beyond excited for this new Studio Ghibli film. It’s sure to be a fun, new adventure for all of us.