Earwig And The Witch On HBO Max: A Studio Ghibli Movie First!
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First Studio Ghibli CG Movie Earwig And The Witch To Stream Exclusively On HBO Max

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BY April 12, 2021

It’s no secret by now that the renowned anime production house, Studio Ghibli has a new movie coming out this year. What’s unique is that it’s the first-ever CG animated movie from the studio that specializes in hand-drawn classic anime. And we now have confirmation of how Earwig And The Witch on HBO Max will follow the film’s theatrical release by two days. It’s not the same as the rest of Warner Bros.’ 2021 slate going to HBO Max, but it’s pretty close. 

Earwig And The Witch On HBO Is Pretty Amazing

Earwig And The Witch On HBO Max logo. Image via HBO Max

HBO Max already has all the exclusive streaming rights for the entire Studio Ghibli catalog on its streaming platform. So it makes sense that their next new release will also feature on the service. But the fact that it’s so close to its theatrical release is definitely a surprise. Given the current state of theatres and the movie industry due to the pandemic, many new releases have shifted to streaming premieres. 

This will be the first time that a Studio Ghibli movie is on a streaming platform so soon after its theatrical release. Before the Earwig And The Witch’s HBO Max appearance on February 5, the film will release in limited theatres 2 days before. So now audiences will be able to enjoy the movie from their own homes, while still not taking away from the experience of theatres. Those willing to brave it, or with access to open theatres, that is. 

How Earwig And The Witch Is Full Of Firsts

Earwig And The Witch On HBO Max morning. Image via Studio Ghibli.

There are a lot of firsts associated with Earwig And The Witch. On top of being on HBO Max, the movie is also the studio’s first-ever CGI film. This is kind of a risky move, given the state of CG animation in anime. While most people appreciate it when done well, the larger reaction is divisive to outright disapproval. Ghibli’s unique selling point, along with incredible stories, is the tone and style of its animation. So a CG animated movie brings some risk with it.

Now add to the how Earwig And The Witch on HBO Max also may dilute the experience of hardcore fans who might want to see it on the big screen. Anime purists have always preferred the theatre experience to home viewing when it comes to Ghibli movies. Probably spurred on by the fact that Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki himself was always been apprehensive of streaming or home video. The entire Ghibli library is already on HBO Max in the U.S.A, and on Netflix outside of the States. So maybe this marks a shift in the landscape in the anime industry. 

Are you excited to see Earwig And The Witch on HBO Max? Let me know below or on our social media handles. 

Featured image via Studio Ghibli. 

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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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