Studio Ghibli's first CG movie, 'Earwig and the Witch,' is an insult | Engadget

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Earwig and the Witch, Studio Ghibli's first CG film, is a huge creative misfire.
Studio Ghibli, helmed by the legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, has practically perfected the art of 2D animation. So, I'll admit, I've spent the past few years dreading the company's first 3D CG animated film, Earwig and the Witch. Like the lumbering Stink Spirit from Spirited Away, I could feel the approaching impact of a fully CG Ghibli movie on the horizon. What would it mean for the studio's notoriously detailed artistic process? How will it shape Ghibli moving forward? After finally seeing Earwig and the Witch on HBO Max, I'm even more concerned.

Directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao, Earwig is an ugly, half-baked film filled with unlikable characters. It lacks the magic of a typical Ghibli entry on almost every level: The CG character animation is stiff and lifeless, with facial expressions that wouldn't be out of place in a cheaply produced children's YouTube videos. The music, composed by Satoshi Takebe, is mostly forgettable, far from what we've come to expect from Ghibli regular Joe Hisaishi. (That's especially damning since music is supposed plays a central role in the story!) And even though it's adapted from a Dianna Wynne Jones novel, the narrative feels incomplete, as if Miyazaki ran out of time and money before he had to ship a final cut.

The film follows a young girl, Earwig, who was left at an orphanage as an infant, and grew up to be a rambunctious kid who controls everyone around her. After being adopted by an old witch and a mysterious warlock, she starts to learn more about herself and her magical powers. That's it, that's the movie. Aside from the animation quality,…
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