Actress Taylor Paige Henderson, who lives in Texas, is the lead character in the English-language version of the new animated film “Earwig and the Witch” from “The film was made by the legendary Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli

A strong-willed young heroine, a witch, a talking cat, cute magical minions: “Earwig and the Witch” has many of the familiar features of a Studio Ghibli film. Yet Ghibli’s latest release, directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son uses it by famous animator Hayao Miyazaki, ingredients from the time-tested Ghibli recipe as he serves up a film that lacks the heart that the studio has always brought to its best

A headstrong orphan girl named Earwig is adopted by a witch named Bella Yaga (maybe Baba’s cousin?) and a reclusive demon writer named Mandrake to serve as the equivalent of a sorcery sous chef, preparing spell ingredients and washing dishes and mopping floors Earwig, whose own mother was a witch, is used to being the boss With her dangerously raised eyebrows and pigtails sitting on her head like devil horns, she usually charms and manipulates her way to her goals, but is surprised by her new surroundings

“Earwig and the Witch” reminded me of many other stories: a bit of “Little Orphan Annie” and “The Little Princess”, a bit of “Pippi Longstocking”, a package from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” “And yet she feels Story adapted from the novel by Diana Wynne Jones (whose work was also covered by Ghibli in my personal favorite “Howl’s Moving Castle”) empty on For one thing, it’s the abundance of red herrings in this fleeting 82-minute feature film Connections and relationships are implied (and a plot point about a witty rock band flies by), but lead to dead ends, making the journey feel incomplete

But the most unfortunate part is the animation. “Earwig” is the studio’s first fully computer-animated feature. The younger Miyazaki has called this a step into the future. By abandoning the hand-drawn animations, however, Ghibli has lost its temper and character, just like Pixar at Steroids, “Earwig” doesn’t look like Ghibli from a distance, but rather like an overly shiny digital scrim overlaid over a narrative that reaches for the fantastic There is bright colors and spirited music and a solid English dubbing lineup (Richard E. Grant, Vanessa Marshall, Dan Stevens, Taylor Paige Henderson and Kacey Musgraves) but there is less attention to detail

Does an animator do an entire studio? Of course not. And yet, as piloted by Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli became a historian in the animation universe. Things are bound to change One Miyazaki makes way for another Still, I hope that “Earwig” is not a harbinger of a new age of CGI films that have more glitz and pixels than soul and sketches. When I look at the hands that do the magic of films like “Princess Mononoke “and” Spirited Away “all I can say is this: If this is just an artifact from the past, I’m not ready for the future

Earwig and the Witch

World News – USA – Miyazaki magic is missing in “Earwig and the Witch”