Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Boy and the Heron’ English Voice Cast Includes Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson

The project was made in accordance with the SAG Foreign Dubbing Agreement

The Boy and the Heron
GKids/Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki’s latest (and potentially final) film “The Boy and the Heron” announced its English dub cast, which includes Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson, and Florence Pugh.

Additional cast members include Luca Padovan, Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori, and Dan Stevens. GKIDS handled casting and produced the English version in close consultation with Studio Ghibli, with ADR direction by Michael Sinterniklaas at NYAV Post, and English script adaptation by Stephanie Sheh. The English language dub was produced in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Foreign Dubbing Agreement.

A sprawling animated fantasy, “The Boy and the Heron” was released in Japan over the summer without any promotional materials released beforehand. The film marked Miyazaki’s return to filmmaking after supposed retirement (his last film was the Oscar-nominated “The Wind Rises,” released a decade ago) and was nothing short of an event. Those who saw it, either in Japan or at festival screenings afterwards, say it ranks among the filmmaker’s very best. (Our critic out of Toronto called it “beautiful, mournful and ultimately hope-filled.”)

Now, American audiences will soon see the film – with their choice of voice cast.

Having a starry voice cast for a Studio Ghibli dub really started in the late 1990’s, when John Lasseter, then the creative head of Pixar, convinced Disney to start releasing the movies on home video. They began recruiting all-star casts for the dubs and having Pixar filmmakers supervise these new versions. Perhaps the most memorable bit of casting was getting Michael Keaton to voice the title role in “Porco Rosso.” Fun trivia: this is actually Bale’s second time voicing a character in an English dub of a Miyazaki movie; he previously played Howl in “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

GKids will release “The Boy and the Heron” in preview engagements on November 22 before expanding to cinemas nationwide and in Canada on December 8 (in both the original Japanese and English language versions).

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