Studio Ghibli has pulled back the curtain on Hayao Miyazaki’s animated fantasy epic “The Boy and the Heron,” the director’s first feature since his 2013 drama “The Wind Rises.” The movie will get a U.S. theatrical release on Dec. 8.
After playing in Japan, the film is now set to open the Toronto International Film Festival — the first animated or Japanese film to do so. The film’s release in its native country came with conspicuously little promotional material, an effort to maintain an air of secrecy around the enigmatic film. The only image of the movie before its Japanese release was of a mysterious heron. The trailer marks the first official footage released publicly to audiences.
“The Boy and the Heron’s” official logline reads: “A young boy names Mahito longing 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.”
The Japanese voice cast includes Soma Santoki as Mahito and Masaki Suda as the the Grey Heron, in addition to Takuya Kimura, Aimyon, Kô Shibasaki, Yoshino Kimura, Shôhei Hino and Jun Kunimura. An English dub is in the works.
Miyazaki is the internationally renowned director behind Japanese animated favorites like “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and many other beloved films created under his Studio Ghibli banner. “The Boy and the Heron” is his most recent film since 2013’s “The Wind Rises,” and it is also said to be his last film before he retires.
Watch the trailer for below.