Himi hugging Mahito from The Boy and The Heron, Hayao Miyazaki's latest Studio Ghibli film.

We Can Finally See Hayao Miyazaki’s Latest in U.S. Theaters This Week!

Hayao Miyazaki’s latest Studio Ghibli film, The Boy and The Heron, is coming to cinemas this year. After failing to retire for the nth time, The Boy and The Heron isn’t going to be the director’s last film. Given the stellar performance of most of Miyazaki’s films, it’s clear to see why he is objectively terrible at retiring as a director. But maybe this is a good thing since The Boy and The Heron draws from Hayao Miyazaki’s childhood.

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The Boy and The Heron also features a stellar voice cast, with social media onlookers gasping in shock at Robert Pattinson’s hidden voice-acting talent. Nobody would’ve expected Batman to be a part-time bird in a non-DC universe. There’s a lot to be excited for with Studio Ghibli’s newest film, and it might be a good watch with friends and family during the holiday season.

The Boy and The Heron was released on July 14, 2023, in Japanese cinemas before playing the film festival circuit. Luckily for Miyazaki and Ghibli fans in the United States, The Boy and The Heron hits theaters on Friday, December 8, 2023.

The story is set in 1943 during World War II, and concerns a boy named Mahito whose mother was tragically killed in a hospital fire. Mahito’s father marries his mother’s younger sister, Natsuko, with whom he has a tense relationship. He moves to a new town and struggles to adapt, all while still dealing with the loss of his mother. Mahito, who is getting into fights with other kids at school, is tormented by a gray heron. Meanwhile, at home, Natsuko has gone missing and it’s up to Mahito to find her. This leads him into an alternate world where he meets Himi, a girl with magical powers—just your typical Studio Ghibli adventure.

(featured image: Studio Ghibli)

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.