We need all the joy we can get right now, and Studio Ghibli have been spoiling us this year.
After dropping a collection of their most iconic films on Netflix recently – such as Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away, the famous animation house have announced that they are releasing a new project later this year. Titled Aya to Majo (directly translated as Aya and the Witch), the latest project is based on the children’s book Earwig And The Witch from writer Diana Wynne (who penned Howl’s Moving Castle) – telling the story of an orphan who is adopted by a witch and finds her new house filled with magical wonders. Oh, and did we mention there will be a talking cat?
Overseen by the famed and iconic Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and his son Goro Miyazaki, the film was set for release at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival alongside Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Steve McQueen’s Lovers Rock. Now the film will be released in Japan later this year before arriving in cinemas around the world.
On Aya And The Witch, Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki has explained: “Can Aya And The Witch do well after corona? I thought about that many times when I was watching the early footage. Then I realised the big characteristic of the movie is Aya’s wisdom. If only we have wisdom, we can overcome anything in any era. When I thought about that, I was relieved. If Pippi Longstocking is the story of the world’s strongest girl. Aya is the story of the world’s smartest girl. Aya is cheeky but somehow cute. I hope she is loved by many types of people. By the way, I thought Aya reminded me of someone, then it turned out it was Goro himself, who was the director of the movie. When I told that to him he looked bashful.”
If Kiki’s Delivery Service and Castle In The Sky is anything to go by, we are in for a treat with this new mystical film and we cannot wait.