The Big Picture
- Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, The Boy and the Heron, is highly anticipated and set to have its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7.
- The film will be released in its original Japanese with English subtitles, as well as a new English language version, and will feature hand-drawn animation from Miyazaki himself.
- The storyline of The Boy and the Heron has been kept mysterious, but a recent pre-teaser hints at a world where death ends and life begins.
Across the many fields of human endeavor, there are always those with the uncanny ability to produce brilliant and excellent results are simply unmatched. In the field of filmmaking, Hayao Miyazaki falls into that category perfectly. So, it comes as no surprise that the legendary filmmaker’s final feature, The Boy and the Heron, is so highly anticipated in many quaters. Set to open at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, the final offering of Miyaaki’s iconic career has been announced to arrive in North American cinemas on December 8, 2023.
The Boy and the Heron comes from the legendary animation studio, Studio Ghibli, with GKIDS acquiring the rights for North American distribution. When the highly anticipated film hits cinemas, it will be released in its original Japanese with English subtitles, as well as a new English language version. The international premiere of the film at TIFF will make it the first Japanese film to launch the festival. With the ongoing strike by SAG-AFTRA and WGA, TIFF will most likely witness a toned down celebrity affair on opening night. The Boy and the Heron will become yet another film from Miyazaki’s staple to feature at TIFF. The highly anticipated film joins the 2002 film Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.
The Boy and the Heron marks Miyazaki’s 11th feature film and 10th film with Studio Ghibli, a studio he also co-founded. Previously titled How Do You Live?, the upcoming film which has been in production for nearly a decade will also feature hand-drawn animation from Miyazaki himself. The film features a musical score from Joe Hisaishi, a long-time collaborator of Miyazaki with Oscar-winning Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki producing. The film is written and directed by Miyazaki.
‘The Boy and The Heron’ Is Shrouded in Intrigue and Mystery
For much of the build up to the film’s release, the storyline has been shrouded in mystery. However, last week GKIDS released a ‘pre-teaser’ that helped introduce the film’s story. “A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead,” the teaser states. “There death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.” Vague, however, it still possesses an intriguing aura.
The Boy and the Heron premieres in cinemas on December 8. Watch the trailer below: