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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