So Earwig and the Witch is the first fully CG film from beloved animation studio Studio Ghibli; haven taken some free time to watch their other masterpieces behind the camera after Spirited Away, I was hoping that their transition from hand drawn to CGI could once again make me a believer despite the lingering reviews that came. Sorry to say but....if this is your first, it should probably be your last also.
Eight movies into 2021, I’ve finally found something I could honestly call one of worst of the year already; I shouldn’t even be this pissed off at a company I just started viewing a little over three months ago let alone for them trying something new but seriously, LOOK AT THIS! The lush green worlds have been replaced by lifeless backdrops, its hyper-expressive character designs swapped out for cheap dolls made out of sawdust and plastic, full-fleshed out two to three dimensional characters are now self-absorbed asswipes with no personality beyond insufferable arrogance and while the CG isn’t terrible, it isn’t exactly easy to look at either. Seriously, this is reminiscent of the Puffs Ultra Soft Facial Tissue commercials; sure, it’s technically better looking than Foodfight but it honestly is hard to believe that this is even from the same studio. Perhaps my biggest problem is how pointless and aggressively boring the story becomes and believe me, it gets boring fast: yes, it does pack some visual motifs as a callback to some of Studio Ghibli’s other projects, yes, the voice acting is admittedly above average and some suspense elements did leave me wondering about the actual mystery of the house and such but those are only short bursts of acceptance filler in a sea of padding.
This story barely has a plot to begin with; it doesn’t know what to do, where to go, how it wants to present itself and yet somehow the tiny threads of a story that it does have result in most of the subplots it builds up being aborted with no resolution whatsoever. The film gives so little of a shit that it doesn’t even end; this feels more like a first act for a film and they just cut off before the second could pick right when we could’ve finally seen some actually story take place.
Everything feels so incomplete; hell, even the poster you’re seeing right now is misleading.