After the death of Isao Takahata and the non-definitive retirement of Hayao Miyazaki (How do you live? Will one day be released), the Studio Ghibli production was prey to uncertainty. Once The Memory of Marnie was released in 2014 and its promising director, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, left the company to found his own studio (Ponoc, responsible for Mary and the Witch’s Flower), the mythical anime producer seemed to be left without generational change … But Goro Miyazaki, Hayao’s son, hadn’t gone anywhere.
Goro, after directing Poppy Hill and Tales from Earthsea, is primarily responsible for Ghibli’s new work in about six years, Earwig and the Witch. It is the studio’s first computer-animated film, and we learned about it this summer when the Cannes Film Festival announced that the title was part of the Official Selection of the edition that the pandemic did not allow to celebrate. Then we discovered several images of the film, and it remained to be resolved when it could be released. Vertigo Films, distributor of Ghibli films, has already resolved this question.
Thus, Earwig and the witch will hit our theaters in 2021, without yet having revealed the specific date. The film has a script by Hayao Miyazaki and is produced by Toshio Suzuki, another of the founders of Ghibli. As groundbreaking as its 3D finish may be, at the narrative level it will not be such a big leap, since as The Howl’s Moving Castle did previously adapts a novel by Diana Wynne Jones. The story centers on Earwig, a girl without parents who is delighted to live in her orphanage who will have to face two witches who pose as her adoptive parents.