English-Language ‘The Boy and the Heron’ Trailer Features Florence Pugh, Christian Bale (Video)

The latest film by Hayao Miyazaki opens on Dec. 8

“The Boy and the Heron,” the latest from Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki, opens outside Japan on Dec. 8. Ahead of that release, GKids and Studio Ghibli have unveiled the English-language trailer for the film, which includes appearances from Florence Pugh, Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson, Mark Hamill and Willem Dafoe. You can watch it above.

The English-language voice cast for “The Boy and the Heron” also includes Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Karen Fukuhara, Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori and Dan Stevens. The English-language dub was produced in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Foreign Dubbing Agreement.

“The Boy and the Heron” follows a young boy named Mahito (Luca Padovan in the new dub) whose mother dies in a fire during World War II. Her father decides to move the family to the Japanese countryside. He is working for the government building air munitions and has also taken on a new wife, who has a somewhat flinty relationship with Mahito — she’s pregnant and he feels uncomfortable about his new half-sibling.

He is soon drawn into a spiritual netherworld by a mysterious heron (Pattinson). It’s a place where time and space are upside-down and gargantuan parakeets govern the land (led by Bautista’s Parakeet King). Can Mahito make it back in time? And repair the relationship with his family?

Both fantastical and sometimes shockingly autobiographical, the movie draws inspiration from a 1937 novel titled “How Do I Live?” — the much-better title remained in place for the Japanese market. The film feels like a culmination of Miyazaki’s prior work.

The feature was released in Japan over the summer without any pre-release marketing materials beyond an enigmatic poster. There were no trailers or even plot synopses. More was known after the movie’s international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, followed by screenings at the New York Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival and Animation is Film Festival in Los Angeles.

“The Boy and the Heron” will have special engagements in New York and Los Angeles starting on Nov. 22 and will be released wide (in both English and Japanese) on Dec. 8.

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