The Big Picture
- Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, The Boy and the Heron, is highly anticipated and has received rave reviews, earning a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
- The film follows the story of a young boy named Mahito who embarks on a magical journey to find his mother, guided by a talking heron.
- The Boy and the Heron is expected to be Miyazaki’s final film, and it will feature hand-drawn animation and a musical score from Joe Hisaishi.
All things must come to an end, be it good or bad. Sadly, this applies also to the enjoyment one derives from the consumption of works of entertainment genius. For those well-versed in the world of filmmaking, Hayao Miyazaki is respected as one of the very best. His latest project, The Boy and the Heron is an eagerly awaited work of art, and it will also mark his final feature before retirement. Having opened this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and earning a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Miyazaki’s final film will fly into North American cinemas on December 8, 2023, following special previews from November 22. Ahead of these, a new poster has been released to unveil the characters at the center of the piece.
The poster which seems to target the film’s French audience, features a young lad armed with a crudely manufactured bow and arrow while flanked by a heron. The pair stand atop a little boulder with a mysterious building and a cloaked elderly figure on either side of their rear. The film’s title is boldly written in French — Le Garçon et le Héron.
This story follows the life of a young lad, Mahito Maki (voiced by Soma Santoki), who sadly loses his mother during an air raid in World War II. Soon after, the grieving lad and his father leave Tokyo to reside in the countryside. There, young Mahito sees his father wed his mother’s younger sister Natsuko (Yoshino Kimura). While recovering from an injury at his new home, he discovers a mysterious heron (Masaki Suda), who can talk. The creature tells Mahinto that his mother is still alive in a mysterious tower on the property. What follows for Mahito is a surreal, magical journey to be reunited with his mother. The Boy and the Heron will mark Miyazaki’s first project since 2013’s The Wind Rises and the feature is loosely based on the 1937 novel How Do You Live? by Yoshino Genzaburō.
The Crew Behind ‘The Boy and the Heron’
The Boy and the Heron comes from the animation studio, Studio Ghibli, a studio co-founded by Miyazaki. Despite not enjoying a ton of promotion given the limitations of the recently resolved WGA strike and still ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, the hype around the feature is high. The feature had premiered in Japan in July and had been in production for nearly a decade. It also features hand-drawn animation from Miyazaki himself. The film features a musical score from Joe Hisaishi with Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki producing.
The Boy and the Heron premieres in cinemas on December 8. Watch a teaser here and check out the poster below: