Studio Ghibli’s latest film and also first fully 3D animated film Aya and The Witch will premiere on December 30th.
Japanese network NHK announced the premiere date alongside a new PV that can be watched on their site here. The new PV introduces the film’s cast of characters and also shows off the characters’ voices for the first time.
Aya and The Witch is based off the children’s novel Earwig and The Witch by author Diana Wynne Jones. Jones is also the author of Howl’s Moving Castle which also received an animated film from Studio Ghibli in 2004.
Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki will be directing Aya and The Witch, with Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki producing. Goro Miyazaki had this to say about the upcoming release of Aya and The Witch.
“Now, in our country, there are many adults and few children.
I think the current children will be tough because we have to deal with many adults with that small number.
When I was thinking about that, I met Aya. Then I thought, “Yes, should I do that?”
What would Aya do with the annoying adults?
Please see ‘[Aya] and the Witch’.
I hate to say that our cute Aya encourages children and cheers up adults.”
Translation: Google Translate (Adjusted)
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.”
Film distributor GKIDS announced that Aya and The Witch would be seeing a theatrical release in the United States sometime next year.