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GKIDS Releases Ghibli's 1st CG Feature Earwig and the Witch on BD on April 6, Digitally on March 23

posted on by Alex Mateo
Film screens in U.S. on February 3; streams on HBO Max on February 5

GKIDS announced on Monday that it will release Studio Ghibli's first CG feature Earwig and the Witch, Goro Miyazaki's anime adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones' novel of the same name, on digital platforms on March 23 and on Blu-ray Disc on April 6. The company's home video releases will include a Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo version and a Steelbook limited edition. The releases will include behind-the-scenes interviews with director Goro Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and Japanese cast and crew, as well as storyboards.

GKIDS and Fathom Events will screen the film in select theaters in the United States on February 3. The film will screen in Japanese with English subtitles and in English. HBO Max will begin streaming the film on February 5 in the U.S.

The theatrical run will qualify the film for the Oscars.

The English dub cast includes:

  • Kacey Musgraves as Earwig's Mother
  • Pandora Colin as Matron
  • Alex Cartañá as Assistant Matron
  • Taylor Paige Henderson as Earwig
  • JB Blanc as Mr. Jenkins
  • Logan Hannan as Custard
  • Summer Jenkins as Phyllis
  • Vivienne Rutherford as Sally
  • Tom Bromhead as Cook
  • Eva Kaminsky as Assistant Cook
  • Vanessa Marshall as Bella Yaga
  • Richard E. Grant as The Mandrake
  • Dan Stevens as Thomas

Additional dub cast members include:

  • JB Blanc
  • Tom Bromhead
  • Alex Cartañá
  • Pandora Colin
  • Summer Jenkins
  • Eva Kaminsky
  • Vivienne Rutherford

Kacey Musgraves is also performing the English version of the film's theme song “Don't Disturb Me.” Sherina Munaf is performing the theme song in Japanese.

Jones published the novel in 2011, and publisher HarperCollins describes the story:

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.

The anime stars:

  • Shinobu Terajima (Caterpillar, Helter Skelter, Oh Lucy!) as Bella Yaga
  • Etsushi Toyokawa (live-action 20th Century Boys, Her Granddaughter) as Mandrake
  • Gaku Hamada (Miss Hokusai, One Piece Film Gold, live-action Space Brothers) as Thomas
  • Child actress Kokoro Hirasawa (live-action BLEACH) as Earwig (Aya in the Japanese version)

Goro Miyazaki directed the anime as the studio's first full 3D CG feature, and his father and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki are credited for the movie's planning and development. Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki produced the film. French distributor Wild Bunch International is serving as the feature's international sales agent.

Keiko Niwa (Ocean Waves, Tales from Earthsea, The Secret World of Arrietty, From Up On Poppy Hill, When Marnie Was There) and Emi Gunji (From Up On Poppy Hill assistant director) wrote the screenplay. Miho Satake (Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit, Kiki's Delivery Service), the illustrator of the novel's Japanese edition, is credited with the original character and setting designs, and Katsuya Kondo (Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo, Ronja the Robber's Daughter, From Up On Poppy Hill) designed the characters for animation.

Yukinori Nakamura (Ghibli Museum's "Boro the Caterpillar", Expelled from Paradise) supervised the CG, and Tan Seri served as animation director. Yuhki Takeuchi handled the backgrounds. Satoshi Takebe (From Up On Poppy Hill, Ronja the Robber's Daughter) composed the music, Koji Kasamatsu directed the sound, and Eriko Kimura directed the dialogue recording. Kentarō Morishita produced the animation, and Isao Yoshikuni, Keisuke Tsuchihashi, and Koji Hoshino were production managers.

The 82-minute feature aired on the NHK General channel on December 30. The Cannes Film Festival chose the feature as part of its Official Selection last year.

Source: Press release


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