The Boy and the Heron The Boy and the Heron

GKIDS has released the official teaser for Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron, which will make its International debut at the Toronto International Film Festival tomorrow evening, September 7. It will be released in U.S. theaters on December 8.

This is the first time that most of the world can see anything besides still images from the film. Studio Ghibli famously refused to do any PR before its Japanese theatrical release on July 14. That meant no photos, no synopsis, and no trailer. The first official image from the film was released last month when the San Sebastián festival revealed it would open with The Boy and the Heron on September 22.

Ghibli’s description of the film, written in poetry form, reads:

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 New York Film Festival, which will host the film’s U.S. premiere on October 1, shared a more detailed synopsis which reads:

While the Second World War rages, the teenage Mahito, haunted by his mother’s tragic death, is relocated from Tokyo to the serene rural home of his new stepmother Natsuko, a woman who bears a striking resemblance to the boy’s mother. As he tries to adjust, this strange new world grows even stranger following the appearance of a persistent gray heron, who perplexes and bedevils Mahito, dubbing him the “long-awaited one.” Indeed, an extraordinary and grand fate is in store for our young hero, who must journey to a subterranean alternate reality in the hopes of saving Natsuko—and perhaps himself.

The Boy and the Heron is an original story written and directed by Miyazaki, produced by Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, and features a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi.

Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.