Earwig and the Witch is set to be Studio Ghibli’s first full 3D CG feature movie, and is set for a December 30, 2020 release on Japan’s NHK. The 82-minute film will be released by GKIDS in the first half of 2021. Goro Miyazaki (Tales from Earthsea and From Up On Poppy Hill), who is the son of Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, is the director of the movie.
In a now-removed post, Studio Ghibli posted the cast and staff members of the movie.
The cast is as follows:
- Shinobu Terajima (Caterpillar, Oh Lucy!, Vibrator)
- Etsushi Toyokawa (Midway, Love Letter, The 8-Tomb Village)
- Gaku Hamada (One Piece Film Gold, Fish Story, Golden Slumber)
- Kokoro Hirasawa (live-action Bleach, Sadako 3D 2, Tora-san)
Also revealed was the staff working on the movie:
- Producer: Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki
- Screenplay: Keiko Niwa (Ocean Waves, Tales from Earthsea, The Secret World of Arrietty, From Up On Poppy Hill, When Marnie Was There) and Emi Gunji (From Up On Poppy Hill‘s assistant director)
- Character and Setting design: Miho Satake (Moribito, Kiki’s Delivery Service)
- Character Design for Animation: Katsuya Kondo (Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, From Up On Poppy Hill)
- Animation Director: Tan Seri
- CG Supervisor: Yukinori Nakamura (Boro the Caterpillar, Expelled from Paradise)
- Backgrounds: Yuhki Takeuchi
- Composer: Satoshi Takebe (From Up On Poppy Hill, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter)
- Sound Director: Koji Kasamatsu
- Animation Production: Kentaro Morishita
- Production Managers: Isao Yoshikuni, Keisuke Tsuchihashi, and Koji Hoshino
Diane Wynne Jones wrote the novel of the same name, which is the basis for the adaptation. She is also the author of Howl’s Moving Castle, which has also been adapted into a Ghibli movie in 2004.
Publisher HarperCollins describes the novel:
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.
This is not Ghibli’s first CG work—Hayao Miyazaki’s Boro the Caterpillar preceded it; but it was only a short work for the Ghibli museum, and not a full-length film.