The Boy and the Heron: Hayao Miyazaki’s anime swansong? (trailer).

Here’s one for all you Studio Ghibli fans. December 8th 2023 promises to be a date you’ll want to circle on your calendars, tattoo on your wrists, or get imprinted into your retinas. Why? Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli have delivered us what looks like another soon-to-be-classic film, “The Boy and the Heron.” And here’s the twist; they’ve done it with all the subtlety and mystery of a ninja. In a media age that thrives on pre-release hysteria, Ghibli’s choice to whisper, rather than shout, about this film’s Japanese premiere is not only wryly counter-cultural but also impressively self-assured.

Into the World of Living and Dead, We Go

Centered around young Mahito Maki, this film drags us into a landscape where life and death engage in a playful waltz. With a gray heron as his unconventional guide, Mahito’s journey weaves between the grief of his past, mysteries of the present, and the spectral haze of an alternate realm. Death might’ve paused its march, but the emotions sure haven’t. In a plot that pays tribute to friendships and evokes emotions reminiscent of our childhood days, this semi-autobiographical tale seems set to tug at the heartstrings of Ghibli fans and newcomers alike.

A Voice Cast to Swoon Over

With Soma Santoki voicing our protagonist, and a band of other supremely talented artists such as Masaki Suda (our cheeky Grey Heron), the auditory delight promises to be as sumptuous as the visual treat. And speaking of voices, Aimyon as Himi? Here for it!

Fun, Feathers, and…Parakeets?

Giant man-eating parakeets? Check. A tower that wasn’t really “built”? Double-check. A heron with the mind of a man? Now, that’s something even our wildest dreams wouldn’t conjure up! But this is Miyazaki’s universe, after all, where the bizarre and the brilliant entwine seamlessly.

Reflecting Reality Through Fantasy

While our hero navigates a universe that seems bathed in magic and enigma, the roots of this film lie surprisingly close to home. Miyazaki’s own memories of wartime Japan, family escapades, and his profound connection with his mother have found echoes in Mahito’s story. It’s this rich tapestry of real-life inspirations that promises to lend the film a depth that’s typical of Studio Ghibli’s creations. As the film urges its audience to envision “a world without conflict with your own hands,” it also reminds us of Miyazaki’s unmatched ability to marry reality with whimsy. Intrigued yet? Join in on the buzz (or gentle hum, in Ghibli style) and follow @GKIDSFilms for updates. And remember, this December, let your soul soar with “The Boy and the Heron.” Because if this truly is Miyazaki’s last feature film, it’s one cinematic experience you won’t want to miss. Cheers to new beginnings… and enigmatic herons.

The Boy and the Heron: Hayao Miyazaki's anime swansong? (trailer).
The Boy and the Heron: Hayao Miyazaki’s anime swansong? (trailer).


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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