The Boy and the Heron, the latest film from renowned director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, has gained attention from dedicated fans. A fan artist known as Axel, or @axxlg on Twitter, created a short animation featuring the film’s titular star. The animation shows the boy peeking out of his heron outfit and was showcased on Axel’s YouTube channel, Red Sea Animation.
The Boy and the Heron, also known as How Do You Live?, had its domestic theatrical debut in Japan on July 14. The film tells the story of a young boy named Mahito Maki who loses his mother during the Tokyo firebombings of World War II. He goes to live with his pregnant maternal aunt, and while struggling to cope with his mother’s death, he meets a talking blue heron that promises to reunite them.
Interestingly, The Boy and the Heron had a surprising lack of promotion leading up to its release. Studio Ghibli President Toshio Suzuki explained that they purposely refrained from promoting the film to preserve the viewer’s experience. Until recently, the only official promotional material for the film was its poster, but Studio Ghibli finally unveiled a new piece of artwork featuring a young man sitting alone at his desk, along with a link to the film’s theme song.
Despite the lack of promotion, The Boy and the Heron made a significant impact at the Japanese box office. It earned over 1.83 billion yen (approximately $12.9 million) during its opening weekend and has earned a total of around $26 million as of July 24. The film also became the first Ghibli movie to be released in IMAX.
GKIDS, the North American distributor for Studio Ghibli, has acquired the rights to The Boy and the Heron and has confirmed that it will be released later this year. International audiences will have the chance to see the film at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, which will be the festival’s first opening with a Japanese or animated film.
In the meantime, fans can enjoy other Studio Ghibli films on Max (formerly known as HBO Max). Studio Ghibli has a dedicated fanbase, and their latest film, The Boy and the Heron, has captivated audiences in Japan. With its unique story and beautiful animation, it will surely continue to impress fans around the world.