The Boy and the Heron will be Hayao Miyazaki’s first animated feature in ten years since the critically acclaimed The Wind Rises (2013).
The film, which was released in Japan on July 14th, is said to be the Japanese director and producer’s last film at 82 years old. The film takes us to another magical world, similar to the likes of Spirited Away (2001) and My Neighbour Totoro (1988).
The hand-drawn story is based on Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel ‘How Do You Live?’
Studio Ghibli solidified its foundations as a world-renowned studio long ago, almost creating a genre of itself in anime. The studio’s iconic characters, unique creatures, and world-building have cemented the excitement for any and all upcoming works.
What Is The Boy and the Heron About?
Directed and written by Miyazaki, The Boy and the Heron is a story that follows a 12-year-old boy named Mahito Maki.
Mahito has to deal with the death of his mother and moves to a new remote country house. Mahito and the Heron, whom he keeps seeing, explore a magical world shared by the living and the dead, where he sees an illusion of his mother.
As stated in the trailer and official website this new world is where ‘death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.’
The film also continues to work with longtime Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi. The theme song for the film, “Spinning Globe” is written and performed by Kenshi Yonezo, who had the first ever global top 50 entry by a Japanese artist with his song “KICK BACK” for the anime series Chainsaw Man.
Cast & Character Guide
The star-studded English cast has also been released, with returning voices like Christian Bale and Mark Hamill.
Audiences are already pleased with the exciting announcement, Bale having previously voiced Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle, one of Miyazaki’s many award-winning films. GKIDS, Studio Ghibli’s North American Distributor, announced the full cast on the 17th of October this year.
The rest of the English voice cast is as below:
Christian Bale as Shoichi Maki
Dave Bautista as The Parakeet King
Gemma Chan as Natsuko
Willem Dafoe as Noble Pelican
Karen Fukuhara as Lady Himi
Mark Hamill as Granduncle
Robert Pattinson as Gray Heron
Florence Pugh as Kiriko
Luca Padovan as Mahito Maki
Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori and Dan Stevens as The Parakeets
The Boy and the Heron releases in theatres in the US and UK on December 8th.