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Feature Film

U.S. Release Date Confirmed for ‘The Boy and the Beast’

One of Japan’s biggest theatrical hits of 2015 is headed to American theaters.

Funimation will release Mamoru Hosoda’s coming-of-age action/adventure film, The Boy and the Beast, in the U.S. on March 4, 2016. Advance tickets go on pre-sale February 5 on Funimation’s website.

The anime distributor will offer two versions to American audiences: the original Japanese language with English subtitles and an English dub. The newly-produced English dub was developed with the participation of the film’s director. “It was a rare opportunity to work so closely with a film’s director on a dub production and doubly so with Mamoru Hosoda – arguably the world’s most prominent anime director,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and founder of Funimation.

Funimation has distributed two of Hosoda’s earlier films in the U.S. — Wolf Children in 2013 and Summer Wars in 2010 — but their goal will be to replicate the colossal success of their last limited theatrical release, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F.’ Funimation essentially rewrote the business of indie feature animation distribution with the release of that movie last August, marketing the film to a niche audience and grossing $8 million in just 14 days, an unheard-of amount for an anime film from a small distributor.

Here is the official synopsis for Hosoda’s The Boy and the Beast:

The Boy and the Beast (Bakemono no Ko in Japanese) tells the story of Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, who stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts. He’s taken in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who’s been searching for the perfect apprentice. Despite their constant bickering, Kyuta and Kumatetsu begin training together and slowly form a bond as surrogate father and son. But when a deep darkness threatens to throw the human and beast worlds into chaos, the strong bond between this unlikely family will be put to the ultimate test—a final showdown that will only be won if the two can finally work together using all of their combined strength and courage.

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  • UsaMiKo

    All I can say is “Thank God, for english dubbing!” I know there’s a dedicated community of people who hate the english dubbing of anime, but I couldn’t be more thankful for it. I always feel like I’m missing out on something when I have to keep my eyes on the bottom third of the screen. It’s especially annoying when the animation is particularly good. Here’s to getting watch this when it’s out for digital release!

    • donzai

      i agree. if only the idiots in casting, did not hire joke actors lol. if you watch an anime, so many times the hero has a deep powerful voice. then the american idiots get a hold of it, and cast some nerd with a special last name to play the character, and all of a sudden the hero’s voice sounds like a jokey pipsqueak. but it is nice to hear it in english, just so you watch the animation.

      • Otakon

        It’s actually the reverse for Dragonball Z, oddly enough. The voice of Goku in the Japanese version is a high-pitched woman, whereas the American voice is a typical ‘manly’ one.

  • Mister Twister

    They totally missed the golden opportunity to title this “A Boy and His Beast”.

    • Renard N. Bansale

      Let’s…not. I’ve already seen some bloggers asking if the film was some sick porno.

      I’m a sucker for Summer Wars, was moved to tears with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and was charmed by Wolf Children. I have good hopes for The Boy & The Beast. ^_^

      • Mister Twister

        Errr….. what does your second paragraph has to do with my post?

        • Renard N. Bansale

          Just my general expectations for the film given Hosoda’s track record.

    • Inkan1969

      Someone should do a crossover: “Boy and the Beast and the World”.

  • ThatGuy

    Sigh. Why does America hate 2D animation. Why does the rest of the world love it and continue to invest in it.

    Oh wait. because we made the same predictable, formulaic Disnified crap over and over for 90 years with no real attempt to change a “safe” winning formula.

    • Matt Norcross

      That bothersome thing called the Marketplace, why must it get in the way?

  • Inkan1969

    Sweet. I didn’t think I’ve have a chance to see this in theaters.

  • Tory

    I’m not sure how true this is but according to anime news network. The Boy and the Beast is only playing at a AMC theater. If this is true than those who don’t have a AMC theater in their state or aren’t willing to drive to the next town that has one will have to wait until Funimation releases it on DVD.

  • C. Rose

    Does anyone know which cities the film will be screened at? I’d like to purchase tickets but need more details. :)