Studio Ghibli Releases Its First CG Feature Film in December

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Studio Ghibli ventures into new territory when the acclaimed studio releases its first fully CG feature film Aya and the Witch in December.

Studio Ghibli is known for producing beautiful works of art through traditional 2D animation, but the acclaimed studio will venture into new territory when its first CG animated feature Aya and the Witch debuts shortly after Christmas. 

Goro Miyazaki, son of famed director Hayao Miyazaki, directs the studio’s first venture into 3D animation. Aya and the Witch debuts in Japan on December 30th with a North American release through GKIDS slated for early 2021. 

Aya and the Witch is based off of a novel by author Diana Wynne Jones. The story follows an orphan named Aya who was dropped off at an orphanage as a baby, but has been treated like royalty since childhood. That all changes when Bella Yaga whisks Aya away from the orphanage and into a world of magic and talking animals. 

This isn’t the first time that Studio Ghibli has used Jones’ work as inspiration. Hayao Miyazaki used her work as reference in the 2004 film Howl’s Moving Castle, which earned an Academy Award Nomination for Best Animated Feature. 

Hayao Miyazaki retired from feature film production in 2013 and has been turning over much of the reins of Studio Ghibli to his son Goro over the years. Goro is responsible for directing the Studio Ghibli films Tales from Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill. He seems like a good fit for directing the Studio’s first CG anime film after wining an Emmy for the CG anime series Ronja the Robber’s Daughter. 

While Studio Ghibli movies are known for their beautiful animation their works are also story driven. It will be interesting to see whether the tradition of great story telling translates into this 3D film.

Aya and the Witch releases in Japan on December 30.

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