First Trailer for ‘The Boy and the Heron’ is Reminiscent of ‘Spirited Away’

A decade after releasing ‘The Wind Rises,’ originally thought to be his final film before retirement, master animator Hayao Miyazaki has returned with a new project, ‘The Boy and the Heron.’ It was originally released in Japan with no promotion beyond Miyazaki’s involvement.

Though, Studio Ghibli is being less cryptic when it comes to the film’s international release, as one of the most secretive films of the year just got a little less mysterious with the first trailer for ‘The Boy and the Heron.’ The film will be released in North America on December 8.

The new promo video centers on a young boy named Mahito, who enters a world shared by the living and the dead. “There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning,” the trailer describes as a musical score by Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi plays.

Mahito, who lost his mother, learns through a talking heron that she is still alive, and he sets out to find her, which leads him to a new, more fantastical world.

The trailer also reveals with beautiful anime imagery the firebombing of Tokyo during the Second World War, which claimed his mother’s life, and of Mahito having to go live with his maternal aunt.

Watching the trailer reminded me of Ghibli movies like Nausicaa, Grave of the Fireflies, and most of all, Spirited Away. The animation is strangely reminiscent of the beautifully blending shots in Spirited Away, and I’m sure that it will be an even bigger hit than the past movies.

Soma Santoki is the main cast voicing the 18-year-old main character, Mahito Maki. As for the staff that has worked behind this anime film, they are as follows:

PositionStaffOther Works
Director and ScriptwriterHayao MiyazakiSpirited Away
Animation ProductionStudio GhibliHowl’s Moving Castle
Animation ProducerTakeshi HondaPonyo on the Cliff by the Sea
Music ComposerJoe HisaishiSpirited Away
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Studio Ghibli movies produce magic, and the world stops to witness it. Fans have been waiting patiently for this banger of a film, and with the confirmation of the December premiere, fans can barely keep themselves calm.

About “The Boy and The Heron”

“The Boy and The Heron” (Kimitachi wa Dō Ikiru ka) is an anime film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The story is inspired by the novel of the same name by Genzaburo Yoshino, first published in 1937 and set in pre-war Japan.

The novel tells the story of Copper, a fifteen-year-old boy who lives in Tokyo, watches thousands of people every day and wonders about anything and everything. After his father’s death, he goes on a journey of philosophical enlightenment and uses his knowledge to determine the best way to live!

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