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AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Movie Review: The Boy and the Heron

The+Boy+and+the+Heron+was+released+in+theaters+on+Dec.+6%2C+2023%2C+as+a+closure+to+the+Studio+Ghibli+movies.
Ashlynn Suh
The Boy and the Heron was released in theaters on Dec. 6, 2023, as a closure to the Studio Ghibli movies.

Ten years after his last movie in 2013, Hayao Miyazaki invests his storytelling animation into debuting his final film, The Boy and the Heron. With little advertising and promotion, Miyazaki’s culminating film was released in U.S. theaters on Dec. 6, 2023

Studio Ghibli produces many applauded features and Miyazaki’s Japanese animations have been internationally recognized and praised worldwide. Additionally, he has been awarded the Academy Honorary Award for his impact on the animation industry and named a person of cultural merit. 

“The Boy and the Heron” holds the record for the most expensive film produced in Japan. It has made around $84.1 million at the box office globally. It is also included in the Top 10 films of 2023 by the National Board of Review

The animation was announced in 2017 with a targeted release in 2020, however, production progressed slowly due to the pandemic. Its tedious artistry contributed to its long-awaited release with sixty animators hand-drawing its illustrations.

About the Story

“The Boy and the Heron” concludes Miyazaki’s time directing at Studio Ghibli and draws on his own life. The storyline is influenced by Miyazaki’s childhood and captures themes of life, death, and the means of creation. Aspects of his other films are also referenced in this film to pay homage to his career.

The film follows a young Mahito Maki who grieves over losing his mother in a burning building during the war. In response to the tragedy, Mahito, his father, and his aunt move to the countryside where mysterious events occur on the estate. 

After meeting the local Gray Heron, Mahito ventures through the divergent worlds of the living and the dead. Searching for his pregnant aunt, he receives guidance from the young version of his mother in hopes of bringing her back to their world. 

Why Watch “The Boy and the Heron”? 

The animation is stunningly crafted and well thought out. Ghibli movies often have a recurring no-plot concept, however “The Boy and the Heron” departs from its usual norms. The movie consists of a deeply orchestrated plot within its fantasy adventure genre. 

The audience is continuously entertained by Miyazaki’s style of graphics and unpredictable narrative. Nevertheless, he includes sentiments Ghibli fans can connect with. His take on thought-provoking themes alongside the easter eggs of his previous works express a greater meaning to the film’s conclusion. 

Critics embellish their love for Hayao Miyazaki’s work calling it “a beacon of encouragement when the world is lost”. “A film that cannot be entirely explained upon watching it once”. 

Furthermore, Hayao Miyazaki concludes his accomplished career with one last gift to his fans. “The Boy and the Heron” is now playing in theaters, subbed and dubbed for those wishing for one more taste of the Ghibli series.

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