Studio Ghibli is breaking new ground this winter with its first fully computer animated film. Though the stills of ‘Aya and the Witch’ distributed ahead of the film’s release left some fans divided, viewers will nonetheless be eager to see the production made by Hayao Miyazaki and his son, Goro. Though some films have had to delay their releases this year due to Covid-19-related setbacks, ‘Aya and the Witch’ was always slated to be released on Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, meaning Ghibli fans can see the new film without delay from the safety of their own homes. Now, NHK has finally revealed the 82-minute film will be broadcast on NHK General TV from 7.30pm on December 30.
‘Aya and the Witch’ is an adaptation of a children’s book called ‘Earwig and the Witch’ by Diana Wynne Jones, who also penned ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’. The plot revolves around a young orphan, called Aya, who is fostered by a wicked witch. Tired of being abused by her evil new foster parent, Aya decides to fight back by learning how to use her own special powers to her advantage.
Starring roles include Shinobu Terajima as the witch, Etsushi Toyokawa as Mandrake and Hirohiro Hirasawa as Aya. While the idea for the production was planned by Hayao Miyazaki himself, it is his son Goro who directed the movie and was primarily in charge of making the artistic decisions. But will it live up to expectations? Even critics can’t say, as the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, where the movie was originally supposed to premiere, was cancelled. So you’ll have to see it on NHK General TV and decide for yourself, at 7.30pm on Wednesday December 30.
In the meantime, rewatch these top 10 Studio Ghibli films.
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