In the leadup to the August 27 theatrical opening of Earwig and the Witch, TOHO posted a long interview with Hayao Miyazaki, who is credited for the movie’s planning and development. Miyazaki commented on his son Goro Miyazaki‘s work as the film’s director.
He said that because it was his duty to make feature films, he couldn’t make Earwig and the Witch himself. He left it to producer Toshio Suzuki to find a director, and Suzuki suggested Goro.
“I thought Goro wouldn’t measure up, but his fighting spirit exceeded my expectations, and I think the result was quite interesting,” he said. “I think his use of CG was good. It’s quite a feat.” He added that he thought that the film had gathered a rather strong staff.
As for the film itself he describes it as an interesting story that conveys the energy of the original novel. “I think it was quite difficult to create this film, to the extent that I truly want to praise everyone without restraint.” He said that the portrayal of Earwig as someone who refuses to lose made a strong impression on him, and that he was glad that everyone stuck to their guns in creating it.
“The fact that it was my son doing it is irrelevant,” he went on. “By not drawing with a pencil and doing things in CG instead, he’s been released. That’s what I think.”
Goro Miyazaki‘s anime adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones‘ novel of the same name premiered on Japanese television through NHK General on December 30. French distributor Wild Bunch International is serving as the feature’s international sales agent.
GKIDS and Fathom Events began screening the film in 430 theaters in the United States on February 3. The film ranked at #11 in the United States in its opening weekend, earning US$99,941 for a total of US$132,768. The film screened in Japanese with English subtitles and in English. HBO Max began streaming the film on February 5 in the U.S. GKIDS released the film on digital platforms on March 23 and on Blu-ray Disc on April 6.
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.