The film, titled Aya and the Witch, will be their first in six years, following on from 2014’s When Marnie Was There.
The first stills from the upcoming Studio Ghibli film Aya and the Witch have been revealed, marking the studio’s first CGI offering.
The film is based on the children’s book by Diana Wynne Jones, Earwig And The Witch. Jones was the same writer behind Howl’s Moving Castle, one of the most popular films ever released by the studio, made by iconic Japanese director, Hayao Miyazaki. Aya and the Witch is being directed by fellow Studio Ghibli director and Miyazaki’s son, Gorō.
In a departure from their usual hand-drawn style, Aya and the Witch is also the studio’s first CGI offering, and the accompanying stills certainly have a different look.
In a statement about the film, Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki described: “After [coronavirus], how [does] the world change? That’s the biggest concern for many types of people now. Even the movie and television industry can’t avoid that.”
“Can Aya and the Witch do well after corona?” Suzuki continued. “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, then 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,” he continued. “By the way, I thought Aya reminded me of someone, then it turned out it was Gorō himself, who was the director of the movie. When I told that to him he looked bashful.”
Aya and the Witch is due out later this year. Check out the stills below.