Following a wildly successful release in Japan earlier this year, Studio Ghibli released the trailer for the film’s English-language edition on Thursday (2 November) ahead of its December release in the UK and US.
The animated movie features an all-star cast of voice actors including Pattinson, Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill and Florence Pugh.
“A young boy named Mahito yearning 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,” an official logline reads.
In the trailer, Pattinson’s voice is unrecognisably gnarled as the deceitful heron. “Your mother – she’s awaiting your rescue. I’ll be your guide,” he tells Mahito.
On Twitter/X, viewers lauded the Twilight star for his commitment to the role.
“Dude what the hell he is so good?” reads one tweet that has garnered more than 70,000 likes.
“Omg an A-lister actually *doing* a character voice and not just speaking into a mic, ROBERT PATTINSON IS SAVING CINEMA,” raved another.
“Robert Pattinson’s range continues to impress me, man. What a bright talent,” a third tweeted.
“This being his first [voice] role is crazy,” wrote a fourth.
Since shooting to fame in the mega-popular Twilight film saga, Pattinson has appeared in a variety of indie projects such as the Safdie brothers’s crime drama Good Time (2017), Claire Denis’ sci-fi High Life (2018), and Robert Eggers’ psychological horror The Lighthouse (2019).
Last year, he starred Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022).
The Boy and the Heron is a semi-autobiographical fantasy from the mind of 82-year-old Miyazaki, who co-founded the world-renowned animation house Studio Ghibli in 1985 in Tokyo, Japan.
Despite no marketing campaign whatsoever, his new film made 1.83bn yen ($13.2m/£10.1m) in its opening weekend, the biggest take in the studio’s history.
Miyazaki’s 2001 animation Spirited Away was the highest-grossing film in the country’s history, taking in 31.68bn yen ($305m) in Japan. It held the record for 19 years, before being surpassed in 2020 by Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train.
Ghibli is known for animated feature films including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro and The Wind Rises, all of which were directed by Miyazaki.
The Boy and the Heron is released on 8 December in the US and 26 December in the UK.