Last night Cannes Film Festival revealed what was going to be their 2020 line up. One of those highlights brings a very large smile to Studio Ghibli fans, the name of their next animation…Aya And The Witch!
Six years after the last film was released by the Studio, which was When Marnie Was There. The latest film was announced by the Studio it will be released in the winter.
As we eagerly wait for Hayao Miyazaki‘s hand drawn How Do You Live? (expected 2023), his son Goro Miyazaki will direct this one.
The animation will be based on the children’s book Earwig And The Witch which was created by Diana Wynne Jones. Her books are no stranger to Studio Ghibli, as Goro’s father directed Howl’s Moving Castle which was released in 2005. Goro’s ghibli filmography includes Tales From Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill.
The book tells the story of Earwig, an orphan girl living in St. Morwald’s Home for Children. She’s is adopted by a woman called Bella Yaga, who turns out to be a horrible witch. She takes Earwig to live in her home of supernatural trinkets. With help from a talking cat, the girl must use her wits to survive.
Just reading that synopsis, this book has Studio Ghibli written all over it.
This project will be a computer generated animation with Toshio Suzuki, Ghibli co-founder and producer onboard to produce alongside Goro’s father.
Suzuki released a statement on the news “Can Aya And The Witch do well after corona? I thought about that many times when I was watching the early footage. Then I realized the big characteristic of the movie is Aya’s wisdom. If only we have wisdom, we can overcome anything in any era. When I thought about that, I was relieved.
If Pippi Longstocking is the story of the world’s strongest girl, Aya is the story of the world’s smartest girl. Aya is cheeky but somehow cute. I hope she is loved by many types of people. By the way, I thought Aya reminded me of someone, then it turned out it was Goro himself, who was the director of the movie. When I told that to him he looked bashful.”
Aya And The Witch is set to premiere on Japanese Television in the winter. There’s no word on how and when the film will be released internationally, if anything mid/late 2021.