Studio GhibliThe first CG animated film will hit theaters and HBO Max in February. GKIDS, the North American distributor of Ghibli, has set theatrical release for Earwig and the Witch for February 3 in select theaters nationwide, with an HBO Max streaming debut to follow a few days later.
GKIDS announced that Earwig and the Witch will get both theatrical and streaming releases in early February, just days apart. Earwig and the Witch will open in selected cinemas across the country on February 3, 2021, in dub versions with Japanese and English subtitles, followed by streaming debut on HBO Max on February 5, 2021. It’s a remarkably short window for the film to be exclusive in theaters, but special times require special measures, especially since the United States can see the film months after its release in Japan (where he debuted on NHK in December).
It’s pretty amazing that a Studio Ghibli movie is streaming so quickly, especially after movies from the revered anime studio have been missing from any streaming platform for decades, but since WarnerMedia and Ghibli have made a deal for all of the studio’s films to become the exclusive U.S. release house for the Studio Ghibli catalog, they became much easier to access. Likewise, the theatrical release of GKIDS (in partnership with Fathom Events) of Earwig and the Witch comes after years of Ghibli films that had to fight for US distribution until a partnership was struck with Disney in the ’90s. The brief two-day theatrical release of Earwig and the Witch sounds odd, but that’s what will qualify the film for an award.
“We are delighted to bring Goro Miyazaki’s magical new film to North American audiences next month,” GKIDS President Dave Jesteadt said in a statement. “Earwig and the Witch is Studio Ghibli’s first new release in four years, and it is the studio’s first foray into computer animation. Working in conjunction with HBO Max, Fathom Events and other theatrical partners will allow GKIDS to bring this wonderful film to the widest possible audience. “
“Once again, Studio Ghibli has created a visual and narrative masterpiece,” added Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom. “Fathom is delighted to continue its partnership with GKIDS and bring the premiere of Earwig to theaters and fans across the country.”
There is a lot of anticipation around Goro Miyazakiof Earwig and the Witch like the first Ghibli movie to be released in four years, but with just as much suspicion, as it’s the studio’s first feature film in CG animation – and one that hasn’t sold anyone yet. But, as unimpressive as it is, it’s still a Studio Ghibli film, and one that will brighten up the still-naked 2021 movie scene, at least for a little while.
Here is the synopsis of Earwig and the Witch:
Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea his mother had any magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple welcomes her and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. As the stubborn girl sets out to uncover the secrets of her new guardians, she uncovers a world of spells and potions, and a mysterious song that may be the key to finding the family she’s always wanted.
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