top of page

Is “The Boy and the Heron” really the last Miyazaki film?

The Boy and the Heron

Animated Studio Ghibli adventure featuring the voices of Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki, Aimyon, Yoshino Kimura, Takuya Kimura, Keiko Takeshita, Jun Fubuki, Sawako Agawa, Karen Takizawa, Shinobu Otake, Jun Kunimura, Kaoru Kobayashi and Shohei Hino. Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Now playing in Toronto theatres. 124 minutes. PG

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (out of 4)

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

Fantastic images, luminous animation and a powerful eco-allegory about the fragile state of our planet from Japanese anime legend Hayao Miyazaki, happily delaying retirement.

TIFF’s first ever animated opening gala proved to be its best-ever opener, enthusiasm that carried over to the Dec. 8-10 box office as it took in nearly $13 million (U.S.) from North American theatres, a record launch for anime on these shores.

“The Boy and the Heron,” prosaically known as “How Do You Live?” in Japan, is a coming-of-ager about a preteen boy, a talking grey heron and a magical kingdom of mysteries that delight and haunt, including the possibility the boy’s dead mother is still alive.

It’s the first film in a decade from Miyazaki, 82, the visionary empath behind such hand-drawn classics as “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke.”

If this is indeed a farewell from the Ghibli co-founder — and he’s hinting it may not be — it’s a grand statement. 🌓

(Originally published in the Toronto Star.)


bottom of page