"A young boy named Mahito, yearning for his mother, ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning."

Such is the hauntingly beautiful premise for The Boy and the Heron, the new Studio Ghibli film from the legendary auteur Hayao Miyazaki. The film, Miyazaki's first feature in 10 years, has been shrouded in secrecy, even following its debut in Japan this summer (where the movie was released as Kimitachi wa Do Ikiru ka, or How Do You Live?).

Miyazaki directed The Boy and the Heron from an original story, with the hand-drawn animated film being hailed as "a semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation." The filmmaker previously won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2003 for Spirited Away, and received additional nominations for Howl's Moving Castle (2005) and The Wind Rises (2013). Miyazaki also received an Honorary Oscar in 2015.

The Boy and the Heron will serve as the opening night film at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival — the first time in history that an animated film will open TIFF — before opening in theaters on December 8. Watch the trailer below.


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