Earwig and the Witch (アーヤと魔女 , Āya to Majo), also referred to as Aya and the Witch, is an upcoming 3D CG animated film directed by Goro Miyazaki, written by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. This is the first film since "The Wind Rises" produced solely by Toshio Suzuki.

It is based on the 2011 book of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, whose novel "Howl's Moving Castle" was previously adapted by Ghibli as well. The original novel, "Aya and the Witch", is translated by Kaoruko Tanaka and published by Tokuma Shoten in 2012. Like "From Up on Poppy Hill" (2011), this film is a joint project between Goro and his father, Hayao. This is the third film directed by Goro, after "Tales from Earthsea" and "From Up on Poppy Hill", and will be Studio Ghibli's first full-length CG animated feature. The story revolves around Aya, a bright orphan who pits her wits against life in a mysterious new home and magic-wielding foster parents.

The film is scheduled to air on NHK General Television from 7:30 - 8:52pm on December 30, 2020[1] and premiered in theaters at the Lumière Festival, from October 10 to 18, 2020. All 26-episodes of "Ronja, the Robber's Daughter" will also be broadcast in conjunction with the film's premiere on NHK.

Behind the Scenes

Promotional visuals depict Aya's struggle against overbearing adults.

Directed by Goro Miyazaki and written by Hayao Miyazaki, the film was announced as the first full 3D CG animated Ghibli film and is scheduled for a television premiere on NHK in late 2020. On June 19, 2020, images from the film were revealed by Miyazaki. [2]

Producer Toshio Suzuki gave a statement regarding its release, "What will happen to the world after the Coronavirus? That is currently the greatest concern of many people. Even movies and television cannot avoid it. Is "Aya" a work that can be endured after the virus? Watching the rush, I thought about it many times. And I realized that the big feature of this work is the wisdom of Aya. With wisdom, you can survive any era. When I thought so, I was relieved. If "Pippi Longstocking" is the strongest girl in the world, "Aya" is the story of the smartest girl in the world. I hope it will be loved by many people. By the way, when I thought that Aya looked like someone, it was Goro, the director of this work. When I pointed out that, Goro was shy and angry." [3]


Aside from announcing his new film, Goro Miyazaki unveiled concept art for the upcoming Ghibli Park. On that same day, a groundbreaking ceremony for the park was held at the Aichi Expo Memorial Park.

During the Ghibli "Not Big" exhibition held at the Aichi Arts Center in Nagoya, Goro Miyazaki gave a press conference on July 27, 2020 announcing his new film and why it was going to be in 3D CG, “I was the only one among the people of Ghibli who knew this method of creation, so I was able to move the project forward without consulting anyone. Hayao Miyazaki told me to go ahead, and producer Toshio Suzuki encouraged me by telling me that it seemed like a good idea. But after that, I was on my own. I was basically the only master on board. So I created the film with a young team and I didn't consult the old guard at all. It's a job that I want everyone to see now."

“Aya is a heroine profile that has not yet been portrayed in Ghibli. She is a strong little girl who does everything to live as she wishes. She is under overwhelming pressure and goes through many hardships while remaining positive."

During the press event, Gorô also unveiled new models and conceptual drawings of Ghibli Park, whose construction has recently started at the Aichi Expo Memorial Park, as well as a puppet installation inspired by his upcoming film.[4]


The film was scheduled set to premiere at the 2020 Cannes International Film Festival before the event was cancelled due to COVID-19. On June 3, 2020, Goro Miyazaki gave a statement regarding the nomination, "Now, in our country, there are many adults and few children. Children nowadays will have a hard time because they have to deal with many adults with that small number. When I was thinking about that, I came across Aya. And I thought, "Well, should I do that!" What to do with Aya's troublesome adults? Please see "Aya and the Witch" for that. I hate it, I sincerely hope that our Aya will encourage children and encourage adults."

It will be aired by NHK in December 2020. Gkids acquired the North American distribution on July 7, 2020 [5]


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