Hayao Miyazaki’s Final Film The Boy And The Heron Premieres Worldwide December 8

The Boy and the Heron will make its first premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival

The Boy and the Heron‘s first trailer has made one of the year’s most elusive movies a little less enigmatic. The newest animated movie from Studio Ghibli, and possibly Hayao Miyazaki’s last full-length film, had its Japanese premiere in July under the title Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka. Now, it’s set to make its North American premiere.

The first trailer for The Boy and the Heron was released on Wednesday, revealing a fantasy adventure that resembles what is a little closer to the likes of Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 masterpiece. It comes a full decade after Miyazaki’s previous film, The Wind Rises, which premiered in 2013. It will also become Studio Ghibli’s first feature since Earwig and the Witch from 2020, directed by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao’s son.

As we see in its official trailer, a majority of it is made up of sporadic shots, starting with a gruesome sight of little Mahito Maki rushing through a burning battlefield while pleading for his parents. It has echoes of Grave of the Fireflies by Isao Takahata, another classic Ghibli movie.

Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka
GKIDS Films | YouTube

Then, Mahito appears in a setting while being shown around a house by an elderly woman. He observes a heron and deserted buildings that, like those in Spirited Away, are illuminated by ethereal lights. We watch as he comes into contact with magical beings, such as a group of cute pale spirits, a school of fish, a woman made of water, a boy made of fire, an elderly man wielding a sword, and many other encounters all resembling classic character designs from Miyazaki’s other works.

According to Studio Ghibli, The Boy and the Heron is “semi-autobiographical”, so perhaps it’s not a coincidence that this trailer has elements from Miyazaki’s earlier works. Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka will be released across U.S. theaters on December 8, 2023.

Related Articles