While Hayao Miyazaki continues working on his next hand-drawn project, Studio Ghibli finally revealed the other mystery project they have been working on.
The production company, NHK Enterprises, announced that the brand new film will be airing this winter across Japan. With the news also came the title of the film and its source material.
Aya and the Witch (Aya to Majo) will be Studio Ghibli’s newest release and will be part of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. Interestingly, this new feature will be entirely CG rather than hand-drawn.
The upcoming film, directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son, Goro, is based on a book by the author of Howl’s Moving Castle, which was also adapted by Ghibli in 2004.
Diana Wynne Jones’ 2011 book Earwig and the Witch follows a fearless young orphan that soon finds herself in a house filled with dark magic.
You can check out the books synopsis here.
Not every orphan would love living at St. Morwald’s Home for Children, but Earwig does. She gets whatever she wants, whenever she wants it, and it’s been that way since she was dropped on the orphanage doorstep as a baby. But all that changes the day Bella Yaga and the Mandrake come to St. Morwald’s, disguised as foster parents. Earwig is whisked off to their mysterious house full of invisible rooms, potions, and spell books, with magic around every corner. Most children would run in terror from a house like that . . . but not Earwig. Using her own cleverness—with a lot of help from a talking cat—she decides to show the witch who’s boss.
Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki stated his concern over the film’s release in relation to the Coronavirus. Initially he believed that the film wouldn’t be able to hold up during this daunting time. However, he later added:
“Then I realized that one stand-out feature of the film is Aya’s cleverness. And if you are clever you can survive in any period of history. Thinking that, I felt relieved.”
As a Ghibli fan, I can’t wait to see what they do with Jones’ story. What do you think? Are you excited to see Aya and the Witch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.