Just when things couldn’t get better for Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film The Boy And The Heron, which was the first Ghibli movie to get simultaneous IMAX release and also the first animated film to open the 48th Toronto International Film Festival, Studio Ghibli had another exciting announcement in store for fans.
On Oct 17, 2023, Studio Ghibli announced the star-studded cast for the English dub of the anime film, which includes Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson and seven others on X (formerly Twitter).
The Boy And The Heron English Dub cast includes:
- Luca Padovan as Mahito Maki
- Robert Pattinson as The Gray Heron
- Christian Bale as Shoichi Maki
- Gemma Chan as Natsuko
- Karen Fukuhara as Lady Himi
- Florence Pugh as Kiriko
- Dave Bautista as The Parakeet King
- Willem Dafoe as Noble Pelican
- Mark Hamill as Granduncle
A new key visual was also revealed to commemorate the announcement.
The Boy And The Heron is set to grace the North American theatres on Dec 8, 2023. The film is also getting an IMAX release at the same time.
The Boy And The Heron (How Do You Live?), released in Japan on July 14, 2023. It became the first ever Studio Ghibli film to get simultaneous IMAX release.
Soma Santoki voiced the main character Mahito Maki.
Masaki Suda, Kou Shibasaki, Aimyon, Yoshino Kimura, Keiko Takeshita, Jun Fubuki, Sawako Agawa, Karen Takizawa, Shinobu Otake, Jun Kunimura, Kaoru Kobayashi, and Shohei Hino are among the talented actors lending their voices to the film’s characters.
The plot of the film is described as:
The plot of the film is set during World War II. Mahito Maki, the protagonist, is a young boy who tragically lost his mother in a hospital fire. When his father remarries, they move from Tokyo to a countryside mansion. This mansion happens to be his mother’s ancestral home, and his father’s new wife is his mother’s sister. With complex emotions, Masato is guided by a mysterious gray heron and finds himself stepping into a different world.
How Do You Live? is inspired by the 1937 novel of the same name by Yoshino Genzaburo. He added that this book is a story that has great meaning to the protagonist of his film.
The setting of the film is Second World War-era England. The sickness that claimed his mother affects book-loving 12-year-old David. He starts to hear book whispers and see images of an odd kingdom while being tormented by loneliness. One day he stumbles into that world, guided by the voice of his dead mother. Red Riding Hood gives birth to a werewolf after falling in love with a wolf, an ugly Snow White, and an evil guy who abducts children. Fairytale creatures and mythical monsters are moving in this lovely yet dreadful world of tales. A mystery journey and a boy’s maturity in conquering challenges in this tale of extraterrestrial adventure.
In October 2017, Studio Ghibli announced the film would be titled “How Do You Live?“. Studio executive, Toshio Suzuki said that Miyazaki is working on the film for his grandson as his way of saying, “Grandpa is moving onto the next world soon but he is leaving behind this film”.
In December 2020, Suzuki stated that the film was in work with no deadlines, similar to The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013), which took eight years to make.
He said that the animation was half-finished with production running faster, due to COVID-19 restrictions requiring them to work at home, and the film will be 125 minutes long.