Famous for their beautiful and detailed 2D animations – such as Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro – Studio Ghibli are venturing into CG animation for the first time. Aya to Majo (Aya and the Witch) is an adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle author Diana Wynne Jones’ novel Earwig and the Witch. Comic Natalie (opens in new tab) has shared our first look at what the movie will look like.
The movie follows Aya, a young orphan unaware that she’s the daughter of a witch. The legendary Hayao Miyazaki will be overseeing the production, while his son Goro is set to direct. Goro has already proved his directing chops in the delightful From Up On Poppy Hill, so we have no doubt he can handle this exciting new chapter in Ghibli's longstanding cinematic reign.
Goro said in a statement (opens in new tab): "Today, in our country, only adults are abundant, and children are few and far between. It must be tough on our children to have to face all these adults in such small numbers. It was while thinking about this that I encountered Aya." Check out all of the images revealed so far below.
We're sure, like us, you have lots of questions. Is the witch evil? Who's that creepy guy with the glowing eyes? Does Aya have magic powers? Whatever the answers, Ghibli is making quite the departure from their tried and tested brand. Let's hope it pays off.
Rather than embark on a theatrical run, Aya and the Witch will air on NHK in Japan later this year. Though there is (sadly) no word yet on when it might be shown internationally.
Keen for more of Ghbili's wholesome animated world? Check out the best Studio Ghibli movies (opens in new tab), ranked.