To the delight of fans, new images have been released for Studio Ghibli’s 25th mystery film, The Boy and the Heron, which is slated to hit theaters in North America soon.
While the film’s official US release date has yet to be revealed, these intriguing new images, uploaded via Catsuka and DiscussingFilm on their respective X/Twitter accounts, give a glimpse glimpse of what appears to be another masterpiece from Studio Ghibli’s extraordinary legacy. Set against the backdrop of the Pacific conflict during World War II, the story revolves around Mahito Maki, a young boy who stumbles across an abandoned tower in his new town, where a talking gray heron takes He entered the fairy world. It is noteworthy that Miyazaki dedicated this project to his grandson, infusing it with personal resonance.
From the images shared from its booklet, the film, directed by famed Hayao Miyazaki, certainly seems to be another visually stunning addition to Studio Ghibli’s impressive and stunning portfolio of films. . With a traditional art style and whimsical elements, the film transports the characters into expansive landscapes that are faithful to the beloved aesthetic that Ghibli enthusiasts love. This will also bring relief to fans as Ghibli’s previous film, Earwig and the Witch, opted for computer-generated 3D animation over the traditional art style, and this is a disappointment. a rare serious failure in the studio’s rich history.
The Debut of the Boy and the Heron
The boy and the heron, called How do you live? in Japan, took a unique marketing approach during its Japanese release earlier this year, with only a single official poster being shared publicly with no preview material at all. It appears that the US release campaign was set up in a similar pattern, allowing the film’s appeal to be built on its own merits rather than conventional promotional tactics. According to manufacturer Toshio Suzuki, part of this decision comes from its budget, which is said to be the most expensive Japanese product to date. This investment in excess of the US$53 million spent on 2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, also a Ghibli production, made a box office bomb, yielding only half of its budget, leaving the studio to have to cautiously spend money on future projects.
The long-awaited film marks Miyazaki’s return to the director’s chair after a decade-long hiatus. His legacy in the world of animation, whether through the intricate world of Oscar-winning Spirited Away or the emotional storytelling of My Neighbor Totoro, is evident. Although he initially retired after the release of The Wind Rises in 2013, Miyazaki surprised audiences with The Boy and the Heron, which he confirmed as his last feature-length film. The film is also the first film in Studio Ghibli’s history to be released in IMAX format.
North American audiences can expect the film to be released later this year after screening at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, where it will be the festival’s first inaugural animated film. .