The anticipation surrounding Hayao Miyazaki’s latest cinematic masterpiece, The Boy and the Heron, is reaching a peak, while both the public and critics rub their hands for its long-awaited release beyond the borders of Japan. Finally, this day the trailer has been released, which already shows us that it is a quality work that lives up to the prestige of its creator.
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The public’s expectation for The Boy and the Hero
This extraordinary film, which has already won accolades for its visual beauty and deep philosophical themes for The Hollywood Reporterinitially debuted in Japan as “Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka” (translated as “How do you live?“ with a marked absence of trailers or promotional material. However, the opposite has happened ahead of its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Thursday, as the world has already gotten a first look at this incredible story.
The one that is on its way to be considered the masterpiece of Miyazaki presents to the public the journey of a young man named Mahito. His painful search for his late mother takes him on a journey between the elements of life and death, inserted in the world of the wonderful and the fantastic that dominates his study. Of course, the accompaniment to this tale of the musical score composed by someone who has become a collaborator of Miyazaki for a long time, could not be missing, Joe Hisaishi.
The trailer introspectively alludes to the harrowing legacy of the World War II bombings of Tokyo, which tragically took the life of Mahito’s mother, leading the young protagonist to seek refuge with his maternal aunt. At Ghibli’s best quality, this is a powerful and moving exploration of the resilience and empathy of the human spirit.
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And it is that with already great titles to his credit, which have become successful animated classics throughout the world, such as Spirited Away – 97%, My Neighbor Totoro – 93%, Princess Mononoke – 92% or The Incredible Vagabond Castle – 87%, it might come as a surprise that both Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki still continue to undertake such high-end manufacturing projects like this one. The truth is that more than one generation of viewers around the planet are already excitedly awaiting the arrival of this film in movie theaters.
While an unconventional approach was chosen during its Japanese release by refraining from releasing plot synopses, cast details, trailers, artwork, or descriptions, this ambiguity was intended to provide audiences with an uninfluenced and pristine cinematic experience, allowing them to fully immerse yourself in the enigmatic world of the film.
But somehow, with the arrival of the international trailer, Ghibli has managed to present a collection of images that pay homage to its own mythology and philosophy. Meanwhile, the symbiosis between fantasy and various elements of social criticism such as war, the exploitation of nature and forgetting traditions continue to take center stage.
In parallel, the study has officially announced that this is “a semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death and creation, in homage to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.” Japanese critics have highlighted the personal parallels between Miyazaki’s life and the film’s story, as his own family escaped the ravages of war in Tokyo for the peaceful Japanese countryside, much like Mahito’s journey.
Furthermore, the role Miyazaki’s father gave him as an engineer at a wartime fighter aircraft factory bears a striking resemblance to the occupation of the protagonist’s father. Likewise, the profound influence of Miyazaki’s close relationship with his mother, which has shaped the female protagonists of his works, endowing them with comparable emotional depth. In short, this is a film not to be missed.
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