Hayao Miyazaki's new film The Boy and the Heron recently premiered outside of Japan at the Toronto International Film Festival. At the premiere, Junichi Nishioka, vice president of Studio Ghibli, made a statement that should make all Miyazaki fans sit up and take notice.
Accordingly, Hayao Miyazaki did not stop working, as is generally assumed. On the contrary: According to Junichi Nishioka, who is responsible for public relations at Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki is already coming back to work with new ideas. This may come as no surprise to those familiar with the now 82-year-old grandmaster. In any case, there can be no question of retirement, as announced for the first time in 2013.
The American film distributor GKIDS acquired the distribution rights for North America and will bring The Boy and the Heron to cinemas there from December 8, 2023 . The approximately two-hour film previously celebrated its international premiere on September 7, 2023 at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival in Canada.
In Japan, the film was released in cinemas on July 14, 2023 and achieved good box office results despite the lack of advertising. The film managed to gross $13.2 million in its first weekend. After around four weeks, the film had grossed more than US$38.4 million in Japan and is currently at US$52.6 million. Although it doesn't quite reach the result of Miyazaki's last film As the Wind Rises from 2013, it is currently the 22nd most successful anime film in Japan.
We recently reported that the first official images of The Boy and the Heron have surfaced online.
This is what The Boy and the Heron is about:
Twelve-year-old Mahito Maki loses his mother in a fire during the Pacific War and moves to the country with his father and new stepmother. He has trouble adjusting there and his relationship with his stepmother is strained. A mysterious, talking heron lures him to a mysterious tower where a magical world full of unusual creatures and adventures lies hidden. Mahito learns that his mother may still be alive and embarks on a perilous journey to save her. A captivating film about courage, family and the power of imagination.