The Boy and the Heron is Directed by Hayao Miyazaki and Stars Luca Padovan, Robert Pattinson and Christian Bale in the English Dub
Review: Hayao Miyazaki’s masterful storytelling seamlessly blends the fantastical with the human in The Boy and the Heron, creating a narrative that is both captivating and thought-provoking.
Hayao Miyazaki creates worlds where grief dances with wonder, where loss paves the way for discovery, and imagination reigns supreme. His latest movie The Boy and the Heron continues those trends to great lengths; it’s a symphony of animation, storytelling, and profound emotions that transports you to a realm of breathtaking beauty and exploration.
Mahito (Luca Padovan), a young boy burdened by the loss of his mother, finds himself adrift in a sea of grief. Thrust into an unfamiliar rural life, he yearns for solace and connection. Yet, a chance encounter with a blabbering bothersome heron (voiced by an unrecognizable Robert Pattinson), a creature as wise as it is enigmatic, sets him on a path towards a hidden world brimming with fantastical creatures and landscapes that defy reality.
Miyazaki’s artistic genius shines through in every frame. Vivid colors burst onto the screen, meticulously detailed creatures come alive with every movement, and the fantastical world he creates feels tangible, drawing you deeper into its magic. From playful Warawara spirits flitting through the air to menacing giant parakeets guarding their territory, every element contributes to the film’s captivating atmosphere.
But the true magic lies beneath the surface. The Boy and the Heron isn’t just a visually stunning spectacle; it delves into the complexities of grief and the journey towards healing. Mahito’s travels through this world serve as a metaphor for his own internal struggle. He grapples with anger, resentment, and ultimately, the acceptance of his loss.
And Hayao Miyazaki doesn’t shy away from the raw emotions of grief. We witness Mahito’s pain, his moments of despair, and his gradual acceptance, making his journey deeply relatable and poignant. We see ourselves reflected in his struggles, and find solace in the knowledge that even in the face of immense loss, healing and growth are possible.
The film’s emotional depth is further enriched by a compelling cast of characters. The enigmatic heron acts as Mahito’s guide and confidant, offering wisdom and support along his journey. Himi (Karen Fukuhara), a young woman with a mysterious connection to his family, adds a layer of intrigue and empathy, while even the cartoony antagonist Parakeet King serves a wonderous purpose. His ambition acts as a stark contrast to Mahito’s path of healing, reminding us of the destructive forces that can lurk within ourselves.
Reviews for Movies like The Boy and the Heron (2023)
Miyazaki’s masterful storytelling seamlessly blends the fantastical with the human, creating a narrative that is both captivating and thought-provoking. The pacing, deliberate yet engaging, allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the world and connect with the characters and animals that live inside. Each scene is crafted with great detail, drawing upon a rich tapestry of symbolism and cultural references that will surely reward multiple viewings.
And then there’s the music. Composed by the legendary Joe Hisaishi, the score perfectly complements the film’s emotional core. Every note resonates with the characters’ feelings, amplifying the impact of each scene. From the playful melodies that accompany moments of wonder to the melancholic tunes that underscore the characters’ grief, the music is an integral part of the film’s success, as is the case with all of Miyazaki’s movies.
In the end, The Boy and the Heron pushes the boundaries of animation to great lengths. It’s a testament to Hayao Miyazaki’s enduring legacy as a master storyteller; a film that will linger in the heart long after the credits roll. While its vastness and complex themes may require more than one viewing to fully grasp, the film’s breathtaking visuals, poignant exploration of human emotions, and seismic themes make it a worthwhile journey for viewers of all ages. It’s an invitation to confront our own losses, embrace the power of imagination to heal and grow, and recognize the importance of human connection and the beauty that surrounds us.
See The Boy and the Heron in theaters
The Boy and the Heron Movie Cast and Credits
Japanese Language Voice Cast
Soma Santoki as Mahito Maki
Masaki Suda as Gray Heron
Ko Shibasaki as Kiriko
Aimyon as Lady Himi
Yoshino Kimura as Natsuko
Takuya Kimura as Shoichi Maki
Shōhei Hino as Granduncle
English Dubbed Voice Cast
Luca Padovan as Mahito Maki
Robert Pattinson as Gray Heron
Florence Pugh as Kiriko
Karen Fukuhara as Lady Himi
Gemma Chan as Natsuko
Christian Bale as Shoichi Maki
Mark Hamill as Granduncle
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Cinematography: Atsushi Okui
Composer: Joe Hisaishi
New Animated Movie Reviews from Cinephile Corner
- Ratatouille Review: Brad Bird Directs the Most Unique and Beautiful Pixar Movie Possible
- Orion and the Dark Review: Charlie Kaufman Adapts His Style for Netflix Animated Movie
- Shrek Review: The 2001 DreamWorks Hit Movie About a Lonely Ogre
- The Boy and the Heron Movie Review: Hayao Miyazaki Returns With a True to Form Animated Adventure