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Magical Studio Ghibli News: Hayao Miyazaki's 'The Boy and the Heron' Will Hit Cinemas Down Under in December 

Mark your diaries: Hayao Miyazaki's first film in a decade has locked in a date with Australian and New Zealand cinemas.
By Sarah Ward
November 08, 2023
By Sarah Ward
November 08, 2023

What's better than knowing that Studio Ghibli has a new movie directed by the one and only Hayao Miyazaki? Knowing when it will hit cinemas so that you can see it. Ghibli fans Down Under, mark your calendars: The Boy and the Heron will release on the big screen in Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, December 7.

For some time, news around this film has sat in a specific category: news that can't really be believed until viewers can watch the end result with their very own eyes. That's understandable given that Miyazaki released The Wind Rises a decade ago, and it was expected to be his last film at the time. The movie maestro even announced his retirement. Then, he changed his mind quickly — but it's still been more than half a decade since that welcome revelation.

The Boy and the Heron not only exists, but has been playing at international film festivals, already released in cinemas in Japan and boasts not one but two trailers to give audiences a sneak peek at it magic — all before the latest news of its summer arrival Down Under.

Viewers can look forward to the story of Mahito, a boy pining for his mother and experiencing the realm where the living and the dead converge — and, naturally, stunningly gorgeous animation that will spirit audiences away.

The Boy and the Heron

The My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle icon's latest was confirmed back in late 2022 for a 2023 release. 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.

The Boy and the Heron will release in Australia and New Zealand in both Japanese with English subtitles and dubbed in English. For the latter, the film's English-language voice cast spans the starry likes of Christian Bale (Amsterdam), Robert Pattinson (The Batman), Florence Pugh (Oppenheimer), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), 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 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, French co-production The Red Turtle and the CGI-animated Earwig and the Witch.

Check out the trailer for The Boy and the Heron below:

The Boy and the Heron will release in cinemas Down Under on Thursday, December 7.. 

Images: © 2023 Studio Ghibli.

Published on November 08, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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