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Hayao Miyazaki Returns With “The Boy And The Heron”

After 10 years, Hayao Miyazaki returns to the world of film with a hand drawn masterpiece that has shaken up the industry months after itsa release. The Studio Ghibli film is already a massive hit in Japan and has now made film festival history headlining the Toronto International Film Festival. The Boy And The Heron will be Miyazaki’s last epic, so here’s everything we can expect.

Studio Ghibli Still Has That Spark

In Japan, The Boy and The Heron premiered in June of this year. It grossed 1.83 billion Yen in its opening weekend, which equals about 12,391,743 USD. Consequently, that makes this the biggest opening weekend for any Studio Ghibli film in Japan.

The Boy and the Heron continued to make waves as its international premiere kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7th. This was the first time an animated feature headlined the festival.

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After making its international premiere at the Toronto International Film FestivalAmerican fans of Miyazaki may be wondering when they will get to see the highly acclaimed film for themselves. It will take a bit longer for Ghibli fans in the US to be able to see the film as the official release date is December 8th, 2023. Certainly, the wait will be worth it to see Miyazaki’s final work on the big screen.

The news of this latest film being a hand drawn production may be a direct response to the middling response to Ghibli’s 3D venture, Earwig and the Witch. Described as Studio Ghibli’s first ‘flop,’ Earwig and the Witch received a 29% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and 4.8/10 on IMDb. While the actual politics of what happened behind the scenes might be unknown, many fans are excited for a return to form with The Boy and Heron.

The Boy and the Heron: Miyazaki’s Swan Song

It has been rumored that The Boy and the Heron is Miyazaki’s last film before he retires. The film’s official website describes it as “A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation,
in tribute to friendship…”

The film itself follows the story of a young boy named Mahito, who has faced a family tragedy. After the passing of his mother, he is moved to the countryside. There, his father builds planes for the Japanese military. However, after following an enigmatic heron, Mahito stumbles upon a fantastical world shared by the living and the dead.

In true Miyazki fashion, The Boy and the Heron features dreamlike compositions, fantastical world building, and a rich use of color.  The official TIFF website describes the film showing “Miyazaki at the height of his powers.”

Check out the official trailer below.

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More Like This:

Hayao Miyazaki Ends Brief Retirement Again for New Feature 

Yorgos Lanthimos’ ‘Poor Things’ Premieres at Venice Film Festival


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