Film Review – Earwig and the Witch (2020)

Studio Ghibli are back – and unfortunately with a misfire.

Studio Ghibli are back – and unfortunately with a misfire.

Directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of legendary director Hayao Miyazaki, ‘Earwig and the Witch’ is Studio Ghibli’s first ever fully CGI film. Unfortunately though, it is very unappealing visually, and the dull storytelling doesn’t do much to save the film either.

Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. As the headstrong young girl sets out to uncover the secrets of her new guardians, she discovers a world of spells and potions, and a mysterious song that may be the key to finding the family she has always wanted.

The characters were fun to watch but the script was pretty poor overall, meaning none of the film’s attempts at emotion or humour landed for me. I just felt disconnected the entire time.

The characters were interesting enough, with some really solid designs. It is really hard to get by the early 2000’s looking animation though, definitely a strange choice from Ghibli considering they had a previously worked with CGI on their TV series ‘Ronja’.

I found Earwig and the Witch a slow and unfortunately very boring watch. I’m hopeful Studio Ghibli will continue to focus on their traditional 2D animation going forward, as this really wasn’t pleasant to watch.

Earwig and the Witch is in cinemas now