Studio Ghibli’s upcoming Earwig and the Witch film will release on HBO Max on February 5, just two days after its February 3 theatrical release in the US. HBO Max is the exclusive streaming platform for Ghibli movies in the US.
The film will be screened in select theaters in subtitled and dubbed versions. GKIDS is distributing the film.
Earwig and the Witch is Studio Ghibli’s first 3DCG film and its first film since 2016’s The Red Turtle, which it co-produced with Wild Bunch. The film is based on the 2011 novel by Diana Wynne Jones, the author of Howl’s Moving Castle.
The staff includes Goro Miyazaki (From Up on Poppy Hill, Tales from Earthsea) as director and Toshio Suzuki (The Red Turtle, The Wind Rises) as producer, with Hayao Miyazaki involved with the project’s planning. Other staff include Tan Seri as animation director, Katsuya Kondou as character designer, Yukinori Yakamura as CG supervisor, and Keiko Niwa and Emi Gunji as scriptwriters.
The Japanese cast includes Kokoro Hirasawa as Earwig (Aya in the Japanese version), Shinobu Terajima as Bella Yaga, Etsushi Toyokawa as Mandrake, Gaku Hamada as Thomas, and Sherina Munaf as Aya’s mother. Meanwhile, the English cast includes Taylor Paige Henderson as Earwig, Vanessa Marshall as Bella Yaga, Richard E. Grant as Mandrake, Dan Stevens as Thomas, and Kacey Musgraves as Earwig’s mother. Musgraves is also performing the English language theme song.
GKIDS describes the movie:
Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. As the headstrong young girl sets out to uncover the secrets of her new guardians, she discovers a world of spells and potions, and a mysterious song that may be the key to finding the family she has always wanted.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter