• The trailer for Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, The Boy and the Heron, has been highly anticipated and has already garnered over 150k views in just a few hours.
  • The film showcases Miyazaki’s high technical standards and features a blend of everyday human life, nature, and fantasy elements, creating a captivating atmosphere.
  • The Boy and the Heron is the most expensive Japanese film ever produced and has already had a strong debut in Japan, earning around 7.74 billion yen. It will be released in North American theaters on December 8, 2023.

The secrecy around Hayao Miyazaki’s final feature, The Boy and the Heron, has been one of the most-talked about curiosities in anime. The first video promotion of the film, released by GKIDS last week, built considerable hype despite being little more than a poetic text introduction to the film and an unveiling of its English-language logo.

However, that brief introductory video also ended with an announcement that the first trailer would be arriving on September 6. And now, the first true footage of the film is finally here. In only a few hours, the trailer has already racked up well over 150k views.

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On a purely artistic level, the footage in the film is up to the high technical standards Miyazaki has become renowned for over his many decades crafting anime. Immediately, the trailer sets the atmospheric mood of the fire-bombings at the end of WWII. Similarly to many of Miyazaki’s prior films, The Boy and the Heron plays with the everyday human world, the world of the natural, and the world of the fantastical all intersecting. As previously alluded to in the text-based introductory video released last week, this new trailer highlights the protagonist, Mahito, discovering a realm “where death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.”

Likewise, another major point of interest is that this new trailer has revealed the theatrical release date for The Boy and the Heron, which will be flying into theaters across the US on December 8, 2023.

The Boy and the Heron has had a strong debut in Japan, earning around 7.74 billion yen thus far (equivalent to around $54 million USD) and a considerable amount of time still in theaters. Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki has stated that Miyazaki’s heron-swan-song is the most expensive Japanese film ever produced, putting it at least over the $49.3 million spent on the second most expensive Japanese picture, the 2013 fellow Ghibli production The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

The most eager Ghibli fans not looking to wait until December are already set on seeing the film beforehand, given that the film has an impressive slate of releases at the fall film festival circuit. It will be making its North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, where GKIDS has informed press the screening sold out “in record time.” Likewise, the film will also be premiering at the BFI Film Festival in London, the New York Film Festival, and the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.

The Boy and the Heron is set to release in North American theaters on December 8, 2023.

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