Studio Ghibli releases first images from fully CGI ‘Aya and the Witch’

Studio Ghibli has unveiled the first images for their first fully computer-generated feature, Aya and the Witch, directed by scion Gorō Miyazaki. The movie is adapted from the novel Earwig and the Witch by British author Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011). She also penned the source for Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-nominated Howl’s Moving Castle. Aya and the Witch is the tale of a bright orphan who pits her wits against life in a mysterious new home and magic-wielding foster parents, is due to premiere on Japanese TV station NHK this winter. It was recently named a title for this year’s Cannes Film Festival (one of a record four animated titles in the festival), is directed by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao’s son and Studio Ghibli filmmaker. He’s helmed two other movies for the studio – Tales from Earthsea and From Up on Poppy Hill and also directed the studio’s cel-shaded computer animated series Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter. The early images for Aya and the Witch reveal a full 3D CG production with fleshed-out characters inspired by traditional Japanese anime aesthetics. But, details of the character designs, costumes and meticulously staged backgrounds still hold the atmospheric charm fans have come to expect from Ghibli films.