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GKIDS Films Licence Studio Ghibli's 'Earwig and The Witch'

As their business is largely theatrical releases, US distributor GKIDS Films have been understandably a bit quiet these past few months. But as America slowly begins to emerge from the crisis (although depending on where you live, it may not feel like it) they have begun to reveal more of their future plans.

As the custodians of Studio Ghibli's catalogue in the US, it's only natural that they should be responsible for their next release. Hayao Miyazaki's in production How Do You Live? is still some way off, and God only knows when we might see it. But Miyazaki-san's son Goro Miyazaki (From Up On Poppy Hill) has been working on a new film that we'll see much sooner. Earwig and The Witch is based on a Children's book by Dianna Wynne Jones, the Welsh author of Howl's Moving Castle. Miyazaki senior worked on planning for the film, and Toshio Suzuki will produce.

The film is Ghibli's first CG-animated feature and will air on TV in Japan later this year on NHK. However, the film will screen theatrically in other countries, and GKIDS will release it in cinemas in the US and Canada in early 2021.

The film was selected as part of the first animated selection at this year's online Cannes Film Festival.  Goro explained how he became inspired to make the film:

Nowadays, in our country, there are many adults and few children. It must be tough for these children, so few of them having to deal with so many adults. It was while I was thinking about this that I got to know Earwig. And I realized, 'That's it!' How does Earwig deal with the annoying adults? Please watch Earwig and The Witch to find out. She may be cheeky, but I sincerely hope that our adorable Earwig will encourage children and cheer up adults.

GKIDS president David Jesteadt said "A new Studio Ghibli film is always a cause for celebration for fans around the world. We are excited to see Goro Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli working in a new animation style, and look forward to sharing the film with audiences early next year."

There's been a lot negative of reaction online to the first look images, with many disappointed that they have decided to make a film in CG. However, it's really unfair to judge an animated film without seeing it in motion. And with a new film from Goro's Dad also in the works, why isn't there room for both? We'll have more as we get closer to the release.



Growing up in an orphanage, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life will take a new turn when a strange family takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch.

  All images © 2020 NHK, NEP, Studio Ghibli