Streaming giant Netflix has licensed rights to “Earwig and the Witch,” the most recent animated feature from Japan’s Studio Ghibli. The deal excludes the U.S. and Japan.
The film was directed by Miyazaki Goro, son of the iconic Miyazaki Hayao who has created other iconic films “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Porco Rosso” through Studio Ghibli.
The new film tells the story of a headstrong young girl who grew up in an orphanage. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in and she is forced to live with a selfish witch.
With a screenplay by Niwa Keiko and Gunji Emi, the story of Earwig is based on a novel of the same name by English writer Diana Wynne Jones.
“The film is Studio Ghibli’s first fully 3D CGI film which prompted us with an exciting challenge to reflect the spirit and pride of our studio using this new artform. Through that experience we met Earwig, our rebellious protagonist who grows to overcome difficulties with her wits and relentless energy,” said Miyazaki Goro in a statement. “Today, the world is forced to continue its journey into a chaotic era. We hope this film will inspire our children who live long into the future.”
The film will be available on the streaming platform from Nov. 18. Its addition expands Netflix’s Studio Ghibli roster to 21 titles, through global distribution partner Wild Bunch International and GKIDS exclusively for Canada. Studio Ghibli has produced 23 feature-length films since being founded in 1985 by Japanese directors Takahata Isao and Miyazaki Hayao
“In countries and territories where we stream Studio Ghibli films (excluding U.S. and Japan), 55 million households have chosen to watch a Studio Ghibli film on Netflix since 2020, and that number will only continue to grow. We’ve been blown away by the positive reactions from viewers everywhere, proving that stories can come from anywhere, and can be loved everywhere,” said Aram Yacoubian, director of animation film at Netflix.