The Boy and the Heron–New Miyazaki movie arrives in December

He is one of the top filmmakers of all time–Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, known for Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and much more, and his movies never disappoint.  Now in his 80s, Miyazaki had indicated to many that audiences had seen the last film with his name as director, but happily for his fans, that’s not the case.

Perhaps his most personal film, The Boy and the Heron, an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival, revisits moments in his life and weaves Miyazaki’s unique brand of anime imagery into his story.  The movie, re-titled from “How Do You Live?” in Japan (a reference to the book in the film but not an adaptation of the book), is getting a big release in the U.S. this December.  Will it be the director’s next big Oscar film?  To market this fantasy, U.S. distributor GKIDS is looking back to decades-old methods of selling movies.  Miyazaki’s name alone should do the trick.

Check out this first trailer, which has enough imagery evoking his past work that it’s a no-brainer fans of the director will flock to it this winter:

The film’s lead character, Mahito Maki, is based in part on a young Hayao Miyazaki.  Hand-drawn, written and directed by Miyazaki–his first film in 10 years–The Boy and the Heron is set in the early years of World War II:

A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead.  There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.  A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation, in tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

This is the original poster from Japan for the film:

Bookmark the GKIDS website here for theater availability and to order tickets later this year.  It’s slated for a December 8, 2023, U.S. release.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg

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