The Boy and the Heron Parents Guide

The Boy and the Heron is a 2023 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Produced by Studio Ghibli, the film draws inspiration from Genzaburō Yoshino’s 1937 novel of the same name, which is referenced in the movie. However, “The Boy and the Heron” features an original storyline that stands independently from the novel.

The Boy and the Heron Is set to be released on December 8, 2023, with a focus on delivering a big fantastical experience, and has a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes.

The film boasts a notable voice cast, including Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki, Aimyon, Yoshino Kimura, Takuya Kimura, Karou Kobayashi, and Shinobu Otake. Positioned as a “big fantastical film,” it unfolds the tale of Mahito Maki (Santoki), a boy who stumbles upon an abandoned tower in his new town. As he ventures inside, Mahito discovers a captivating world, accompanied by a talking grey heron.

The Boy and the Heron Movie Details

Movie NameThe Boy and the Heron
RatingPG-13
GenreFantasy, Adventure, Anime
Original LanguageJapanese
DirectorHayao Miyazaki
ProducerToshio Suzuki
WriterHayao Miyazaki
Release DateDec 8, 2023 (Wide)
Runtime2h 4m
DistributorGKIDS

What is the movie The Boy and the Heron about?

In the enchanted town of Mizukigawa, a young boy named Mahito finds himself haunted by the memories of his departed mother. Consumed by a deep yearning, Mahito stumbles upon a mysterious portal that transcends the boundaries between the living and the dead. As he bravely steps through this ethereal gateway, he discovers a realm where the conventional rules of mortality no longer apply.

In this mystical dimension, death is not the final chapter but a transformative journey. The departed souls have not ceased to exist but have embarked on a new and vibrant existence. Mahito encounters a captivating world where the spirits of the departed coexist with the living, forging a delicate balance between the ethereal and corporeal.

Guided by a talking grey heron, a wise and ancient guardian of this otherworldly realm, Mahito embarks on a quest of self-discovery. The heron, with its sagacious demeanor, imparts profound wisdom about the interconnectedness of life, death, and creation. Through a series of surreal adventures and encounters with both spectral entities and lively beings, Mahito learns to navigate the intricacies of existence.

As Mahito delves deeper into this semi-autobiographical fantasy, he unravels the tapestry of his own emotions and memories. The journey becomes a poignant tribute to friendship, echoing the sentiments that linger in the heart of Hayao Miyazaki’s visionary storytelling. Themes of resilience, love, and the cyclical nature of life weave together in a narrative that transcends the conventional boundaries of reality.

The film unfolds as a visual and emotional odyssey, beautifully animated by the renowned Studio Ghibli. Each frame is a canvas that captures the essence of this extraordinary world—a world where the line between life and death blurs, and where the beauty of creation emerges from the depths of profound loss. In “A Journey Beyond,” Mahito not only discovers the secrets of this mystical realm but also finds a new beginning for himself, honoring the enduring spirit of his mother and the timeless bonds of friendship that shape the very fabric of existence.

The Boy and the Heron Parents Guide

Why is The Boy and the Heron rated PG-13?

The Boy and the Heron is rated PG-13 by the MPA due to some violent content/bloody images and smoking.

Sex & Nudity:

It’s unclear if there are any explicit scenes. The movie is rated PG-13, suggesting limited or mild sexual content.

Violence & Gore:

The film is rated PG-13 for “some violent content/bloody images.” Parents should be aware that there are scenes depicting violence and blood, and it may not be suitable for children under 13 without parental guidance.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking:

The movie contains the presence of alcohol, drugs, and smoking in the film. Parents may want to be vigilant, as PG-13 films may include some references to these substances.

Frightening & Intense Scenes:

 The film is described as a fantasy adventure, and while it may have intense scenes, the specific details are not outlined. The PG-13 rating suggests that some scenes may be frightening for children under 13, and parental guidance is advised.

The cast of The Boy and the Heron:

  • Luca Padovan as Mahito Maki (Voice)
  • Christian Bale as Shoichi Maki (Voice)
  • Dave Bautista as The Parakeet King (Voice)
  • Gemma Chan as Natsuko (Voice)
  • Willem Dafoe as Noble Pelican (Voice)
  • Karen Fukuhara as Lady Himi (Voice)
  • Mark Hamill as Granduncle (Voice)
  • Robert Pattinson as The Gray Heron (Voice)
  • Florence Pugh as Kiriko (Voice)
  • Mamoudou Athie as Parakeet (Voice)
  • Tony Revolori as Parakeet (Voice)
  • Dan Stevens as Parakeet (Voice)

Summary:

“The Boy and the Heron” is a 2023 Japanese animated fantasy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.

Key Points:

  1. Mahito Maki discovers a portal between the living and the dead in Mizukigawa.
  2. In the mystical realm, departed souls lead a transformative existence.
  3. Guided by a talking heron, Mahito learns about the interconnectedness of life, death, and creation.
  4. The journey becomes a tribute to friendship, resilience, and love.
  5. Studio Ghibli’s animation captures the beauty of a world where the line between life and death blurs.
  6. The film is a poignant exploration of emotions, memories, and the cyclical nature of life.
  7. Rated PG-13 for violent content/bloody images and smoking.
  8. Notable voice cast includes Luca Padovan, Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, and others.
  9. Runtime: 2 hours and 4 minutes.
  10. Released on December 8, 2023, with a focus on a big fantastical experience

FAQS

What is  The Boy and the Heron about?

“The Boy and the Heron” is a Japanese animated fantasy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It follows Mahito Maki’s journey through a mystical realm, exploring themes of life, death, and friendship.

Is the movie suitable for children?

The film is rated PG-13 for violent content/bloody images and smoking, suggesting parental guidance for children under 13.

Who are some notable voice actors in the movie?

The cast includes Luca Padovan, Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson, Florence Pugh, Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori, and Dan Stevens.

What inspired the film’s storyline?

The movie draws inspiration from Genzaburō Yoshino’s 1937 novel but features an original storyline independent of the source material.

What is the significance of the heron in the story?

The heron serves as a wise and ancient guardian, guiding Mahito on a quest of self-discovery and imparting profound wisdom about life, death, and creation.

Is there a message or theme in the movie?

The film explores themes of resilience, love, and the cyclical nature of life, offering a poignant tribute to friendship and emotional discovery.