Earwig and the Witch (2020)

DailyView: Day 196, Movie 278

Studio Ghibli is one of the most successful. beloved animation studios of all-time and has created some of the greatest, most beautiful animated movies ever released including such classics as Spirited Away, Princes Mononoke, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Those were all traditional style of animation with each frame hand drawn, creating images of beauty and wonder. For better or worse, Earwig and the Witch, which debuted in the last part of 2020, was the first animated movie from the studio that was made with full 3D CG animation.

Baby Earwig was dropped off at St. Morwald’s Home for Children by her mother. Her mother was a witch and left Earwig to keep her safe. Renamed Erica by the matron, Erica reached 10-years old and was quite rambunctious. When she was “adopted” by a strange couple,  Bella Yaga and Mandrake, Erica realized that she was only taken for another pair of hands.

When Bella Yaga revealed that she was a witch herself, Erica tried to bargain with her. She said she would help Bella Yaga if she would teach her magic. Bella Yaga had no intention of teaching magic to anyone and this only serves to irritate Erica.

Meanwhile, Erica discovered an old tape with a song on it, listed Earwig, and discovered that the cat, Thomas, could speak.

While the CG of the film was fine, it was a sharp difference from the beautiful animation of the past Studio Ghibli films. This was rather unremarkable, with only the animation of Mandrake being anything more than average. The animation, being a standout of the studio, does not make this film special. In fact, I would say that the look of the characters were lacking any depth or realism, especially in the faces which are like marionettes.

None of the characters are interesting. The story is fairly simplistic and apparent. And it wraps up in a rapid manner that felt like it was out of nowhere.

Overall, this was not to the level of the Studio Ghibli films and, if this is their new direction, they may want to reconsider.

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