Earwig and the Witch review – a disappointing CGI debut for Studio Ghibli

Eighty-year-old animation legend Hayao Miyazaki once described computer-generated imagination as “ thin, shallow, juke ”. nowadays Studio Ghibli has made its first always fully CG feature of speech, and it ’ randomness, well, erm … The politest thing to say about Earwig and the Witch is that it ’ s not a patch on Ghibli ’ s hand-drawn output, with plasticky-looking characters and an adrift plot. More painfully still, the film-maker responsible is Miyazaki ’ s son, Gorō Miyazaki ( who previously directed the pretty decent Tales from Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill ). To be clean, Earwig was made for japanese television, but there are so many echoes here of Ghibli films past that it ’ s impossible not to compare and despair. Like Howl ’ s Moving Castle, the script is based on a classical children ’ s record by Diana Wynne Jones ; and precisely like Kiki ’ mho Delivery Service the heroine is a gutsy young hex. It begins on the doorsill of an english orphanage where baby Earwig is left by her rock candy star mum along with a bill : “ Got the early 12 witches all chasing me. I ’ ll be back for her when I ’ ve shook them off. It may take years. ”

The baby is renamed Erica Wig and grows up to be cheerfully bratty, wrapping everyone at the orphanage around her little finger. Unlike the other kids, Erica ( voiced by Taylor Henderson ) has no intention of being adopted. But one day a ghastly couple shows up : buxomy blue-haired enchantress Bella Yaga ( Vanessa Marshall ) and her crabbed chap Mandrake ( Richard E Grant ). The enchantress needs a assistant with her spells – and puts Erica to work grinding scab bones and picking bristly nettles.

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There are some nice touches here and there, like the whirling short demons with batwings who are devoted to Mandrake. But the script ignores all the interest bits of the story – who are the witches chasing Earwig ’ s mum and how does she shake them off ? How does Earwig feel about being abandoned ? Since the last Studio Ghibli exhaust five years ago I ’ ve become a parent. I used to roll my eyes when friends said how much their unseasoned kids loved Ghibli films – sceptical that the decelerate bits and big complicated feelings would keep little ones entertained. then I saw it first-hand – the dreamy faraway front on my four-year-old ’ s confront watching When Marnie Was There. then this new movie is authentically disappoint. And there ’ s a while to wait yet for the latest from Miyazaki Sr. Sixty animators are presently working – by hand, naturally – at a pace of one-minute of animation a month on his new film. Speaking last year, a producer said they have 36 minutes in the pocket with three years to go . Earwig and the Witch is released on 28 May in film .

source : https://thefartiste.com
Category : Anime

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