Table of content    
  1. Critic Reviews:

The Boy And The Heron Movie Review: A Cinematic Swan Song & Visual Masterpiece

The Boy and the Heron' effortlessly weaves together a child's heroic journey and an old man's nostalgic farewell in a dream-like masterpiece. Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's enduring impact shines through in this film, marked by stunning visuals, a contemplative narrative, and captivating charm. Let's see what experts and audiences have to say. It's clear that this upcoming movie stands out as one of the finest of 2023.
the boy and the heron review Source: Google Images

'The Boy and the Heron' is slated for release in the US on December 8, 2023, with a UK date yet to be announced. 

Plot Overview:

The Boy and the Heron, a 2023 release directed by Hayao Miyazaki, intricately weaves a narrative around Mahito Maki, a 12-year-old contending with the aftermath of his mother's tragic death in a Tokyo hospital fire.

Miyazaki's storytelling adeptly explores themes of grief, self-discovery, and the delicate balance between beauty and pain. As Mahito embarks on a journey guided by a heron, the film seamlessly transitions between a child's heroic adventure and an old man's poignant farewell.

Visual Effects:

Visually stunning, The Boy and the Heron captivates with breathtaking landscapes and imaginative scenes. Miyazaki, renowned for his visual prowess, delivers some of his most striking compositions. The film seamlessly combines familiar Ghibli elements with creative landscapes in a fantasy world, creating a cinematic spectacle.

The attention to detail, from the vibrant colors to the fantastical creatures, showcases the director's mastery in visual storytelling.

Cast Performance:
The cast, led by Soma Santoki as Mahito Maki, delivers a compelling performance. Santoki skillfully navigates Mahito's emotional journey, portraying grief, resilience, and the complexities of growing up. The supporting characters, including the mischievous granny and the symbolic heron, add depth to the narrative. The ensemble cast succeeds in bringing Miyazaki's characters to life, enhancing the film's emotional impact.
Joe Hisaishi's enchanting score enhances the immersive experience of The Boy and the Heron. As a standout feature of the film, the soundtrack complements the visuals, creating a harmonious blend of audio-visual storytelling. Hisaishi's composition, marked by its emotional depth, elevates key moments, making it a memorable aspect of the overall cinematic experience.
Pacing and Structure:
While the film's initial hour may test patience with repeated plot points, Miyazaki's deliberate pacing serves a purpose. The narrative rewards viewers with emotionally resonant final scenes. The seamless transition between the real world and the fantastical Wonderland adds complexity to the storytelling.
The film's structure, although unconventional, aligns with Miyazaki's thematic exploration and contributes to the overall impact.
Themes and Symbolism:
The Boy and the Heron delves into profound themes, echoing Miyazaki's own experiences during World War II and his familial dynamics. The heron's symbolism and Mahito's choice between fantasy and reality underscore the film's overarching theme of maturation.
The exploration of life's profound questions, encapsulated in the Japanese title "How Do You Live?," adds layers of depth to the narrative.

Critic Reviews:

Critic Reviews Source: Rottentomatoes
  • Michael J. Casey from Boulder Weekly:Full of exuberant energy, astounding artistry and jaw-dropping creativity.
  • Chris Knight from Original Cin:The Boy and the Heron is a treat for the eyes, the ears and the mind. Or the soul, if you prefer. Known for his wondrous animated images of natural splendour, fantastical creatures, and literal flights of fancy, he gives us all these and more.
  • Randy Myers from San Jose Mercury News:Filled with elegantly rendered imagery that few other animated features could approach, it’s another lovely, lively fable that weaves a magical spell and is filled with ache and layered meaning.
  • Barry Hertz from Globe and Mail:This is an achingly sincere act of storytelling from an artist who seems concerned about what the world that he helped build will look like when he is gone.
  • Travis Hopson from Punch Drunk Critics:A film that fits neatly into Miyazaki’s canon and will bring joy to his legion of fans.
Share this article