Saturday, February 6

Earwig and the Witch Film Review

Earwig and the Witch

Dir: Goro Miyazaki
Starring: Taylor Henderson, Vanessa Marshall, Richard E. Grant, Kacey Musgraves and Dan Stevens
Run Time: 82 minutes
Studio Ghibli
Stream on HBO Max

After a nine-year hiatus, Studio Ghibli is back with their first full-length CGI feature film. 

"Earwig and the Witch" is based on the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, and it follows a precocious young girl named Earwig. Earwig had the run of the orphanage with everyone listening to her whims, but she soon finds herself under the thumb of two new guardians (a witch, a mandrake and a talking black cat), spending her days in a locked house, unable to escape, and forced to help make magic potions.

This is director Goro Miyazaki's third Studio Ghibli film following "Tales from Earthsea" and "From Up on Poppy Hill." His most recent work was "Ronja, the Robber's Daughter" for Amazon in 2014, where Goro first utilized CG animation.

It was actually Goro's father, the famous Hayao Miyazaki, who recommended Goro adapt "Earwig and the Witch" to film. 

I actually read the book when I first heard about the new film adaptation and while the book was an enjoyable, simple read, the story felt a bit flat and cut-off too soon. 

The same can be said of the film adaptation. Earwig doesn't quite hold up on the story end like other Studio Ghibli films but it does touch on many of the elements of whimsy and fantasy that have made the studio's works so beloved.

I absolutely loved the music in this film. Again, the music is a very different vibe from past Ghibli films but it is so much fun and helps bring a fun back-story to life. If you’re a fan of Boston or the song "Hocus Pocus" by Focus, get ready to rock out on the couch.

Overall, Goro knows they have work to do if they want to break out in the CGI world but their first attempt was an enjoyable view.

As Goro stated in a recent interview "Ghibli will keep making films nonstop. And I hope that this film symbolizes the fact that in order to stay true to our style here at Studio Ghibli, that doesn't necessarily mean that we stick with hand drawn animation. I really believe that challenging new things within the studio is the key to staying true to ourselves."

For older, dedicated Studio Ghibli fans, I recommend you support the studio and give this film a try. Grab your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or best friend's kids and watch it together. If the film doesn't quite satisfy you, make it a double feature and put on "Kiki’s Delivery Service." After all, it’s time we introduce a new generation to the magical studio – no matter the art form.

Theresa's Rating
3.00 out of 5.00

No comments:

Post a Comment