Earwig and the Witch

From Awful Movies Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Earwig and the Witch
Even Studio Ghibli is capable of making bad movies.
Genre: Fantasy
Directed By: Gorō Miyazaki
Produced By: Toshio Suzuki
Written By: Keiko Niwa
Emi Gunji
Based On: Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones
Starring: Shinobu Terajima
Etsushi Toyokawa
Gaku Hamada
Kokoro Hirasawa
Distributed By: NHK (Japan)
GKIDS/HBO Max (United States)
Release Date: December 30, 2020 (TV)
Runtime: 82 minutes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese

Earwig and the Witch (Japanese: アーヤと魔女, "Āya and the Witch") is a 2020 Japanese CGI fantasy film, produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Gorō Miyazaki, son of noted Japanese animator and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. It is based on the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, which makes it the second Studio Ghibli movie adpated from her book after Howl's Moving Castle.


An orphaned girl, Earwig, who is adopted by a witch and comes home to a spooky house filled with mystery and magic.

Why It Sucks

  1. As this was Studio Ghibli's first fully-CGI film, it's a major departure from their previous work, and the movie overall feels rather experimental.
  2. The story is incoherent and bland, also very confusing.
    • When the movie feels like it's starting to pick up, it just abruptly ends on a blatant cliffhanger. This is actually the same with the book that the movie is based on, as well.
  3. The movie's locations are rather bland, with most of the story taking place in the same boring locations.
  4. Earwig's model looks awful & nightmarish, and it would have been better if it were in traditional 2D style.
  5. A number of things that could be plot points are brought up, but then dropped with little to no elaboration.
  6. The characters are flat and underdeveloped.
    • Earwig in particular, is a very unlikable character, as she's bratty and manipulative.
  7. Most of the time, the humor is hit or miss.
  8. The lip-syncing for the English dub is just awful.
  9. Sometimes the voice acting sounds a bit off.
  10. Much like Tales From Earthsea, Goro Miyazaki tainted his father's legacy once again.
  11. Misleading Poster: As you can see the poster, it's supposed to be a musical band adventure movie, but in the movie itself, it isn't.
  12. Some facial expressions of the characters make them look like aliens.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The ideas within the story are pretty interesting, if only they were better used.
  2. The music is pretty well done.
  3. Most of the voice acting is alright.
  4. The intro sequence is done very well.


  • Reviews were mostly negative, with a 33% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus "With a story as uninspired as its animation, Earwig and the Witch is a surprising -- and near-total -- misfire for Studio Ghibli."


  • The movie is Studio Ghibli's first fully-CGI film.
  • The reason for the poor quality was mainly due to the fact that Goro Miyazaki was the only person in the Studio Ghibli office to know about CGI, and that he "didn't consult with the old guys at all" during development with a younger staff, plus, he is not an experienced director, as shown with Tales From Earthsea two decades earlier.


External Links



The Dunkman

3 months ago
Score 1
This is the most disappointing movie from Studio Ghibli.

Sofaking we todd it

2 months ago
Score 1
This movie was released on TV first in Japan and will be released later in theaters on April. I wonder if it was always intended to be a made-for-TV film given how the CGI looks bad.

The Adaptation Expert

2 months ago
Score 3
I can't believe Studio Ghibli has gotten downhill again. Also does Goro Miyazaki deserve a page here since the only thing he does is embarass his own father? I find him a complete embarassment to his father's owm legacy.


2 months ago
Score 1
The black sheep of Studio Ghibli


2 months ago
Score 1
So I'm not a fan of anime but sometimes I sympathize with Studio Ghibli, I refused to watch this movie because I know that Miyazaki's son makes a shit with this sewer, I understand that they tried to make a cgi movie and some companies have tried it like for example Disney experimented with Chicken Little and received negative reviews for the plot, characters, story and almost for the mediocre animation, Aardman experimented with Flushed Away and it worked, in fact l animation they did it to make it look like plasticine.


2 months ago
Score 0
Could the theatrical cut that's coming out in Japan maybe redeem this movie? Who knows.

No bias

2 months ago
Score 0
This is basically like MCU their black sheep is Iron Man 2 and Thor The Dark World so as Ghibli with two movies Tales From Earthsea and of course Earwig and the witch.


one month ago
Score 0
Somebody needs to do a director's cut for this movie. It felt so rushed and somewhat incomplete.


25 days ago
Score 0
Well, there's a Japanese theatrical cut coming out, but it got delayed today due to the pandemic.

You are not allowed to post comments.