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The Full Trailer for Studio Ghibli's 'The Boy and the Heron' Is Here with Plenty of Hayao Miyazaki Magic

The latest sneak peek showcases the English-language dub's cast, including Christian Bale, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson and Florence Pugh.
By Sarah Ward
November 03, 2023
By Sarah Ward
November 03, 2023

Some pieces of film news feel like they can't be believed until the end results are actually seen. For a decade, the prospect of Hayao Miyazaki making another movie has been one of them. This enchanting development has come to fruition in the form of The Boy and the Heron, which not only exists but has been playing at international film festivals, already released in cinemas in Japan and now boasts two English-language trailers to give audiences a sneak peek at it magic.

After a mesmerising first look back in September, The Boy and the Heron has just dropped a full glimpse at the new gift from the Studio Ghibli great. In store is the story of Mahito, a boy pining for his mother and experiencing the realm where the living and the dead converge. Also present: stunningly gorgeous animation.

The Boy and the Heron

Miyazaki is back to spirit audiences away again, ten years after releasing The Wind Rises, which was expected to be his last film at the time. The movie maestro even announced his retirement. Thankfully, he changed his mind quickly — and now, more than half a decade after that welcome revelation, his next film is here.

The My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle icon's latest was confirmed back in late 2022 for a 2023 release, at least overseas. Back then, it was known as How Do You Live, but has changed its title since. The official synopsis describes it as "a semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death and creation" — and yes, plenty of Miyazaki's trademarks already exist in that short blurb.

While The Boy and the Heron hit the big screen in July in Miyazaki's homeland, it did so without the usual promotional campaign — which is why trailers have only arrived in the lead-up to the American release, which begins in November. At the time of writing, the feature doesn't have a date with cinemas Down Under as yet, but it'll obviously get one.

Echoing through the latest sneak peek is the film's English-language voice cast, which boasts the starry likes of Christian Bale (Amsterdam), Robert Pattinson (The Batman), Florence Pugh (Oppenheimer) and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3). You'll also hear Gemma Chan (The Creator), Willem Dafoe (Asteroid City), Mark Hamill (The Fall of the House of Usher) and Karen Fukuhara (The Boys).

The Boy and the Heron

There's nothing quite like a Miyazaki movie. While Studio Ghibli isn't short on gorgeous on-screen wonders hailing from a range of filmmakers, the Japanese animation house's best-known co-founder truly does make films like no one else. The Boy and the Heron already looks spectacular — unsurprisingly — in its initial glimpses, complete with lush greenery, mysterious spaces and floating critters. And, of course, with Mahito and the picture's titular bird making appearances.

The Boy and the Heron marks Ghibli's fifth film since Miyazaki's last movie, following Isao Takahata's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, page-to-screen treat When Marnie Was There, gorgeous French co-production The Red Turtle and the CGI-animated Earwig and the Witch.

Check out the full English-language trailer for The Boy and the Heron below:

The Boy and the Heron is already open in Japan, and will release in the US on Friday, December 8, 2023. The film doesn't yet have a release date Down Under — we'll update you when one is announced. 

Images: © 2023 Studio Ghibli.

Published on November 03, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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