‘The Boy and the Heron’ Trailer: Hayao Miyazaki’s Final Studio Ghibli Movie Gets First Footage and U.S. Premiere After Secretive Japanese Release

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. It will also screen at the New York Film Festival. “The Boy and the Heron’s” release in Japan 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, and the new trailer marks the first official footage released publicly to audiences.

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The film has grossed $52.5 million to date in Japan, eight weeks into its theatrical run. That makes it Studio Ghibli’s eighth highest grossing title on home turf.

“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.”

In the U.S., “The Boy and the Heron” will play in its original Japanese with English subtitles, as well as a new English-language version. 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 below.

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