Crunchyroll, the home for anime worldwide, has acquired Australian and New Zealand rights to Studio Ghibli’s long-awaited fantastical epic feature film The Boy and the Heron from Academy Award-winning visionary director Hayao Miyazaki.
Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures International Releasing will bring the film to cinemas on December 7.th, 2023 The film will be shown both in Japanese with English subtitles and dubbed in English.
Produced by Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, The Boy and the Heron is written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film also features a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi, and the theme song for the film “Spinning Globe” was written and performed by global J-pop superstar Kenshi Yonezu. The Japanese cast is led by Soma Santoki as Mahito Maki and Masaki Suda as The Gray Heron. Additional casting includes Ko Shibaski (Kiriko), AIMYON (Lady Himi), Yoshino Kimura (Natsuko), and Takuya Kimura (Shoichi Maki).
The English language dubbed version of the film will feature the voices of Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari, Amsterdam, The Pale Blue Eye), Dave Bautista (Dune, Guardians of the Galaxy), Gemma Chan (The Creator, Eternals, Crazy Rich Asians), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate, The Florida Project), Karen Fukuhara (The Boys, Suicide Squad), Mark Hamill (The Machine, House of Usher), Robert Pattinson (The Batman, Tenet, upcoming Mickey 17), and Florence Pugh (Oppenheimer, Black Widow, Little Women). Luca Padovan joins the cast as Mahito Maki, and Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori, and Dan Stevens are featured as the Parakeets. GKIDS handled casting and produced the English version in close consultation with Studio Ghibli, with ADR direction by Michael Sinterniklaas at NYAV Post, and English script adaptation by Stephanie Sheh. The English language dub was produced in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Foreign Dubbing Agreement.
The Boy and the Heron debuted in Japan on July 14, 2023, where it surpassed Spirited Away’s opening four-day box office. The hand-drawn, original story animated feature — director Miyazaki’s first in 10 years — made its international premiere at the Opening Night Gala of the 48th Toronto International Film Festival on September 7. Tickets to all five TIFF screenings sold out in record time, and the film received glowing reviews and placed top three for the TIFF People’s Choice Awards. The film made its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival, its European Premiere as the Opening Night of San Sebastian International Film Festival and made its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.
The film was also presented in IMAX at Los Angeles’s TCL Chinese Theatre on October 18 as Opening Night of the Animation is Film Festival.