07th Oct2021

‘Earwig and the Witch’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

Features the voices of: Summer Jenkins, Richard E. Grant, Dan Stevens, Taylor-Paige Henderson, Vanessa Marshall | Written by Diana Wynne Jones (book), Keiko Niwa, Emi Gunji (screenplay)| Directed by Goro Miyazaki

One of the things about Ghibli movies is that they have beautiful animation that feels full of life and has a certain style to it. One of the most important things though is that the stories have always been the priority. This is why with Earwig and the Witch their first major CGI-animated movie arguably the animation should not really but the main issue.

When orphan Earwig (Summer Jenkins) is finally found a home it turns out to be a witch. Happier at the orphanage she looks for a way to escape, though she soon finds that the spooky house in which they live is filled with mystery and magic which may reveal secrets about her own past.

Looking at the animation style of Earwig and the Witch, it often feels odd. The backgrounds do have that Ghibli style to them, feeling hand drawn, but the issue itself is the characters who have a strange look to them, and feel intentionally ugly. This is something of course that can be said about other Ghibli films, as the character’s personality often has an effect on their looks. The characters in Earwig do have an odd feel to them though.

When focusing on the story, which of course should be the most important thing, the story of Earwig and the Witch is an interesting one. There are a few more problems here though. Earwig for example is not always as likable as you’d hope. In fact she comes across as quite evil. This often makes her a little hard to like. Thankfully though as the film goes on she does seem to warm up as a character.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Earwig and the Watch is that fact that the story feels unfinished. It gets to a certain point where the story should really open up more, then the film abruptly ends, giving hints of what happened afterwards in the end credits. Hopefully this could be fixed in a sequel where we get some answers to who Earwig’s mother is, and what happened to her. What we have feels like just a tease as to what is to come.

While I would say that Earwig and the Witch is a flawed movie, it is still worthy of viewing, especially for Ghibli fans. It may feel like there is a certain warmth missing to the animation, and the story is unfinished, but if this is hopefully an introduction to a bigger story, then it is a good start to something that really feels like it needs to be finished.

Blu-ray Special Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards
  • Creating Earwig And The Witch
  • Interviews With Japanese Voice Cast
  • Japanese Trailer & TV Spot
  • UK Theatrical Trailer

*** 3/5

Earwig and the Witch is available on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK now.
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Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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