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Studio Ghibli’s First Fully CGI Feature Film Reveals First Look Images

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BY June 21, 2020
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The most renowned anime studio in the world is set to create another landmark in the industry. Studio Ghibli’s next feature film will be entirely in the CGI style of animation. The movie’s source material is a best selling children’s book, titled Earwig and the Witch. The heartwarming story of an orphan will be the first that Studio Ghibli does, that is not in its trademark style of animation. For a better idea of how that looks, Studio Ghibli just released first look images for Aya and the Witch.

Aya And The Witch Based On A Best Selling Children’s Book

Aya and the Witch first look orphans. Image via Studio Ghibli.

The Aya and the Witch first look images adapt the existing visuals from a children’s book called Earwig and the Witch. The author of the book is Diana Wynne Jones, one of the more prolific authors of her time. Many current authors and writers credit their inspiration to be from Jones and her work. One of the most critically acclaimed writers, Neil Gaiman, saw her as his inspiration, and so did one of the most popular YA authors of her time, J. K. Rowling. Studio Ghibli previously also adapted Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle into an animated movie in 2004. 

Similarly to its source material, Aya and the Witch is all about a young orphan named Aya. Aya is actually the daughter of a which herself, something she is completely oblivious to. Until another witch ends up adopting her, coincidentally. But the evil witch is unlike what Aya expected. So with the help of a talking cat, Aya has to find a way to escape her clutches. The story and premise sound like it’s right up Studio Ghibli’s alley. 

The Miyazakis Worked Together On Their First CGI Feature Film

Aya and the Witch first look poster. Image via Studio Ghibli.

Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki is hard at work on his next film How Do You Live?. So the Aya and the Witch features him as having a ‘planning’ credit. While Hayao’s son, Goro Miyazaki is actually the film’s director, as reported by Cartoon Brew. So it has the full backing of not one, but two Miyazakis behind the project, which says a lot. The movie is a first for the studio, however, the Aya and The Witch first look is incredible, especially for a CGI animation style. 

Aya And The Witch First Look Is Stunning And Live Upto Studio Ghibli’s Standards

Aya and the Witch first look band. Image via Studio Ghibli.

Ghibli is the world’s most popular anime studio, with their entire library available for streaming on HBO Max for the first time. One of the most alluring aspects of Studio Ghibli movies is the fact that they use techniques to make their movies look hand-drawn, even when they aren’t. The immersive aspect of this animation technique enriches and lends an air of style and classic looks to each of their movies. When originally announced, Aya and the Witch was concerning for purists worried about how a CG Ghibli movie could retain that authentic and signature look and style. 

However, with the Aya and the Witch first look finally released, it should definitely alleviate some of those concerns. The images released are visually spectacular. The colors pop, and the actual animation style looks exactly like Studio Ghibli art come to life. There is something about the details and nuances that separates these images from other CGI anime. Aya and the Witch was set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2020, but no longer since it’s cancellation due to COVID-19. The movie will premiere in Japan in the winter of 2020, but no word on a North American release. 

Villain? Image via Studio Ghibli.

What did you think about the Aya and the Witch first look images? Let us know in the comments below. 

Featured image via Studio Ghibli. 

Anime NewsanimeAnime MovieAya and the WitchEarwig and the WitchGoro MiyazakiHayao MiyazakiStudio Ghibli

Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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