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Oh, boy, the teaser for Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy And The Heron is here(on)

As expected, the trailer for the new Hayao Miyazaki film looks unlike anything else out there

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The Boy And The Heron
The Boy And The Heron
Screenshot: GKIDS

A decade after releasing his previous “final film,” the teaser for Hayao Miyazaki’s latest career capper is here. Downgraded from the original title How Do You Live, Miyazaki’s new film, now called The Boy And The Heron, was released in Japan without any promotion, hoping the director’s pristine batting average would drive people to theaters. It worked; the film is Studio Ghibli’s biggest opening ever. Still, we Americans won’t see anything without a commercial, so we’re lucky enough to get a taste of the master animator’s new movie before it releases. And, boy, does this thing have some compelling imagery.

From those searing heat waves to a horde of frogs beckoning our hero to the afterlife, Miyazaki’s seven-year journey to put this on screen appears worth the wait. The minute-long teaser is a montage of hand-drawn animation unlike anything produced by Hollywood, evoking the whimsy and adventure of Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro as well as the dire stakes of Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke. Most importantly, Miyazaki’s penchant for drawing the strangest, most adorable old ladies remains intact.


For months, the film was kept under strict secrecy. Japanese audiences were only treated to a single teaser image ahead of its release, a release tactic presumably inspired by The Whale. Eschewing the cryptic release strategy, in addition to a teaser, GKIDS has released an appropriately poetic synopsis for the film:

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.

A semi-autobiographical fantasy

about life, death, and creation,

in tribute to friendship,

from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

The Boy And The Heron hits theaters and IMAX on December 8.