GKIDS have announced that they have acquired the rights to Studio Ghibli’s Aya and The Witch– or Earwing and The Witch in English, and a western theatrical premiere date.
The film based off the children’s novel Earwig and The Witch by author Diana Wynne Jones; known as Aya and The Witch in Japan. Jones is most famous for writing the original novel Howl’s Moving Castle, which has also been adapted by Studio Ghibli into an animated film.
As reported previously here on Nicchiban [1, 2], Earwig and The Witch will be Studio Ghibli’s first fully 3D animated film when it airs on NHK this winter.
A summary of the book via publisher Harper Collins is available to read below.
” ‘I would like to declare Diana Wynne Jones an international treasure,’ proclaimed Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medalist and best-selling author. In this enchanting introduction to Diana Wynne Jones’s magical and funny work, Earwig is a fearless young orphan. When she finds herself in a house of dark magic, she does whatever she can to adapt—especially if it means that she’ll learn a little magic herself! A young middle grade novel by World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement‒winner Diana Wynne Jones, beautifully illustrated in black and white by Caldecott Medalist Paul O. Zelinsky.
‘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.’ “
Earwig and The Witch premieres Winter 2020 on NHK in Japan, and 2021 in western theaters.
Image: Comic Natalie