Earwig and the Witch
Photo: 'Earwig and the Witch'

Studio Ghibli is releasing its first fully computer-animated film on NHK this winter

‘Aya and the Witch’ is headed by Hayao Miyazaki and his son, Goro Miyazaki

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Hayao Miyazaki is making another comeback; this time, working with his son Goro Miyazaki to produce Studio Ghibli's first entirely 3D computer-animated film, which will be broadcast on NHK this winter. This will also be the first feature the studio has released in four years, since making 'The Red Turtle', a co-production with Wild Bunch

The new movie, called 'Aya to Majo' ('Aya and the Witch'), is based on the children's novel 'Earwig and the Witch' by Diana Wynne Jones, the same author behind 'Howl's Moving Castle'. Goro Miyazaki will be the director while Hayao Miyazaki serves as planner. The story is about a young orphan, Aya, who is suddenly whisked away to a strange new home by an evil witch. Aya discovers she has magical abilities of her own and must use her quick wit to stay one step ahead of her wicked foster parent. 

Earwig and the Witch

 

Photo: 'Earwig and the Witch'

 

When asked if the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic could disrupt the production schedule, producer Toshio Suzuki revealed that he had doubts at the beginning, but was inspired by the character of Aya to overcome the obstacles. Citing the heroine, he said, ‘If you are clever, you can survive in any period in history. Thinking that, I felt relieved’. According to the same NHK report, Suzuki also commented that Aya looks like Goro Miyazaki, which apparently made the director blush.  

NHK has yet to announce a specific date for the broadcast, so all we can expect right now is that the feature will be released sometime between December 2020 and March 2021. In addition to ‘Aya and the Witch’, Hayao Miyazaki is also working on a separate feature titled ‘How Do You Live?’, though the studio has yet to confirm when the project will be completed.

In the mean time, rewatch these top 10 Studio Ghibli films.

 

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