The next movie from the world renowned Studio Ghibli will be a departure from its previous efforts. The upcoming Aya and the Witch, will be animated entirely in 3D instead of the studio’s signature traditional, hand-drawn animation. Furthermore, it will premiere on Japanese TV channel NHK, rather than in theaters, when it’s released this winter.
Aya and the Witch, an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ children’s book Earwig and the Witch, focuses on an orphan girl whose life changes when a witch adopts her. This marks the second time Studio Ghibli has adapted one of Jones’ works after Howl’s Moving Castle. Though director’s credit goes to Hayao’s son Goro, Hayao Miyazaki is still credited with overseeing production.
Goro Miyazaki has worked in computer animation before with the TV series Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, which was a Studio Ghibli co-production, and the elder Miyazaki has also dabbled in computer animation with his short film Boro the Caterpillar, though he has returned to hand-drawn animation for the other upcoming Ghibli movie How Do You Live?
There’s no set date yet for Aya and the Witch’s TV debut, nor any news on its release outside of Japan, but it is planned to air later this year. It has also been already been picked up as one of four animated selections ahead of this year’s Cannes Festival, which is postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic but may be rescheduled for June or July, depending on the developing situation.