Warning: Contains spoilers for The Boy and the Heron!The boy and the heron is the newest Ghibli Studio movies and Hayao MiyazakiFirst release in a decade. The film revolves around Mahito Maki, a young boy who meets a talking heron that takes him to another world with the promise of bringing back his deceased mother, and what follows is a magical journey to face his fate. loss and finding the right way to overcome it. live one’s life.
The Boy and the Heron is scheduled for official release on December 8, 2023 but the film has already premiered at many film festivals around the world. The 2023 New York Film Festival is its first U.S. premiere, and anyone who attends can watch a film so excellent in story and animation that it’s only outranked on Studio Ghibli’s resume. overcome. This is a film that truly stands out as one of Hayao Miyazaki’s best, and overall, it’s no surprise that he considered retiring after the release of this film.
The Boy and Heron is One of Studio Ghibli’s Best Movies
Studio Ghibli has always been famous for the excellent direction of its films, and The Boy and the Heron may be their strongest film. In terms of animation, every scene in The Boy and the Heron boasts a level of fluidity and overall composition that surpasses those that came before it, making every scene no matter how big or small a visual spectacle. The opening scene, with Mahito running to his mother, highlighted by its creative use of color, shadow and choreography, is nothing less than a sight to behold and one of the best ever. appearing in a Studio Ghibli film, Hayao Miyazaki or otherwise.
The Boy and the Heron’s score is also commendable. Joe Hisaishi, naturally, returned to provide the music, and his score does a great job of capturing the mood of every scene, whether it’s tension, melancholy, or a moment of happiness. Rare blessing of the cast. Hisaishi’s score in The Boy and the Heron is as enjoyable as it is in other Studio Ghibli films, and when combined with the animation, it all comes together to give The Boy and the Heron a level of just The director stands out as one of Studio Ghibli’s best, if not the best.
The characters of The Boy and the Heron are all worth watching
In addition to great direction, The Boy and the Heron also has incredible characters. The Boy and the Heron, like Hayao Miyazaki’s previous works, is a deeply humanistic film and the script does a great job of adding humanity to the cast. Mahito and Himi are heavily influenced by that type of writing, with the film going to great lengths to explore their various traumas and how they react to them, but even smaller characters like Kiriko, Tsuko and Mahito’s father remain fleshed out enough to become fully defined in their own right.
The more humorous and high-level characters were also a great addition to the show. The gray heron serves as a great comic relief for Mahito, and the parakeets provide much inspiration. On the contrary, the noble pelican, with his little screen time, does a great job of emphasizing the cruelty of the world in which Mahito finds himself, and Mahito’s grandfather is excellent at emphasizing powerful large scale of everything beyond human drama. Some characters would certainly benefit from more development, but overall, they all make a great whole for the film.
The weakest attribute of the boy and the heron is its story
As expected of Hayao Miyazaki, the story The Boy and the Heron is also a good story, although not without flaws. Everything from start to finish is captivating, as Miyazaki explores his usual paths of war and humanity, and exploring those ideas through Mahito’s character makes for a truly compelling film . The film also takes care to balance things out with plenty of humorous and quiet moments that never overstay their welcome, all of which create a near-perfect story thanks to the execution of Miyazaki’s ideas.
Unfortunately, the film still has some shortcomings. First, the majority of the supporting cast lacks any character whatsoever, so it’s hard to get attached to them. The pacing of the second half is also extremely fast, leaving things like the nature of the other world, Mahito’s acceptance of Tsuko, and the high-concept nature of Mahito’s grandfather’s divinity, underdeveloped and difficult to explain. The Boy and the Heron still manages to tie everything together cohesively, but unfortunately these points end up detracting a lot.
The central theme of the boy and the heron makes the film
Above all, what sells The Boy and the Heron best is its central theme: trying to understand the right way to live. The crux of the film explores Mahito’s struggle with that idea in the wake of tragedy and change, something that ultimately stands in stark contrast to things like Himi’s acceptance of her tragic fate and Mahito’s grandfather’s refusal to face reality. It makes the story incredibly relatable in ways one might not expect from its fantastical nature, and seeing such a heavy subject handled with such care adds an extra dimension. depth to the film overall.
Of course, all of that culminates with Mahito’s ultimate determination to accept change and move on with his life. While that may seem like an obvious conclusion, that doesn’t make it any less serious, and the work Mahito needs to do to get there makes for a journey and an emotional thrill. The emotions gained from this decision are worth it. Mahito’s journey is the essence of the film’s original title, How Do You Live?, and it is the perfect answer to that question and could end the film on a great note.
Even though he returned to it, The Boy and the Heron was said to be Hayao Miyazaki’s last film and it would have been a great film to end his career with. The film is not without its faults, mainly in regards to the story, but the great direction, characters and universal themes make up for it and create a film that stands out as one of the most prominent. Ghibli Studiothe best. The boy and the heron is a movie that everyone admires Hayao Miyazaki it would be remiss to miss it, and seeing how he pulls off something similar in his next project will truly be a sight to behold.
Be sure to watch The boy and the heron when it goes into wider release on December 8.