Prepare yourself, the trailer for Hayao Miyazaki’s final film is here

After a surprise summer release in Japan, Studio Ghibli gives global audiences a glimpse at The Boy and the Heron ahead of international festivals.

7 September 2023


The trailer for Studio Ghibli’s long-anticipated The Boy and the Heron is out, following an unusual promotional run for the film. In July, the film had an impromptu theatrical release in Japan, with no trailer, marketing material or any prior promo released by Studio Ghibli besides a single teaser poster. The film will premiere in the UK at BFI London Film Festival on 8 October, and in the US at Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September. It will be the first time a Japanese film or an animated film has opened TIFF.

From the trailer, the film feels mammoth. Themes like endings, rebirth and transitions are all apparent. The Boy and the Heron is described in the trailer by GKIDS as a “semi-autobiographical fantasy” about Mahito, a young boy yearning for his mother who ventures into a new world where the living and dead collide.

Despite the secrecy surrounding the film, the scale of the film has been the topic of much discussion. (It’s been in production for seven years and its cost, though not confirmed, is apparently record-breaking, according to producer Toshio Suzuki.)

Ahead of its release at TIFF, CEO Cameron Bailey says: “We are honoured to open the 48th Toronto International Film Festival with the work of one of cinema’s greatest artists. Already acclaimed as a masterpiece in Japan, Hayao Miyazaki’s new film begins as a simple story of loss and love and rises to a staggering work of imagination. I look forward to our audience discovering its mysteries for themselves, but I can promise a singular, transformative experience.”

Get ready for Miyazaki’s final film by going behind the scenes at Studio Ghibli here.

GalleryHayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli: The Boy and the Heron (Copyright © Studio Ghibli, 2023)

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Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli: The Boy and the Heron (Copyright © Studio Ghibli, 2023)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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