Studio Ghibli’s most recently released anime, "Earwig and the Witch" (or "Aya and the Witch," as it is titled in Japanese) is different from the company’s normal fare in a number of ways. It’s an entirely 3-D CG anime, Ghibli’s first ever, and was created free of the influence of the studios’ older artists, whose aesthetic and storytelling sensibilities created the mold for nearly every other Ghibli anime to date.
Then there’s "Earwig’s" release format. "Earwig" is the 21st Ghibli anime, but only its second to be released as a TV special, following 1993’s "Ocean Waves." However, "Earwig" will soon be acquiring the big-screen status held by the vast majority of its Ghibli brethren, as a theatrical release has now been announced.
▼ Trailer for "Earwig and the Witch"
With the anime already having aired on free TV in December, a theatrical release might seem like an odd move on the part of Ghibli and distributor Toho. However, "Earwig" is not currently available for streaming in Japan, so unless people were watching the broadcast or recorded it, they’re currently out of luck if they want to see it. The even bigger draw, though, is that the theatrical version of "Earwig and the Witch" will be adding additional footage to the anime which was not shown during the TV broadcast.
While "Earwig’s" setting is smaller in scale than those of some of Ghibli’s grander adventure stories, watching it on the big screen should give us an even better view of all the intriguing background details of witch Bella Yagga’s workshop, and let audiences appreciate the expressive quivers of the cast’s eyes, noses, and mouths as their powerful personalities clash. Plus, with "Earwig’s" story laying a good foundation before a very abrupt ending, any extra moments to help round out the narrative would be greatly appreciated.
"Earwig and the Witch" opens in Japanese theaters on April 29, during Japan’s Golden Week spring vacation period.
Source: Earwig and the Witch official website, Twitter/@toho_movie
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