The Boy and the Heron
Title: The Boy and the Heron
Original title: Kimitachi wa dô ikiru ka
Release year: 2023
Country: Japan
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Kô Shibasaki
Rating: 4/5

In the wake of his mother’s death and his father’s remarriage, a headstrong boy named Mahito ventures into a dreamlike world shared by both the living and the dead.

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
Very good100%

A Poignant Journey Through Loss: The Boy and the Heron


Hayao Miyazaki’s return to filmmaking with “The Boy and the Heron” is a visually stunning exploration of grief, acceptance, and the enduring bond between mother and child. Mahito, a young boy grappling with his mother’s death and a new family dynamic, finds himself drawn into a magical realm where the lines between life and the afterlife blur.

The film’s animation is, as expected from a Miyazaki creation, breathtaking. Lush landscapes and fantastical creatures come alive with vibrant colors and meticulous detail. The dreamlike quality of the otherworld adds a layer of mystery and intrigue to Mahito’s journey.

While the emotional core of the story resonates, the pacing might feel a bit slow at times, particularly in the first act. The narrative unfolds organically, prioritizing character development over a fast-paced plot. This may not appeal to viewers seeking a high-octane adventure. However, those who appreciate a more contemplative approach will find themselves rewarded with a deeply moving experience.

“The Boy and the Heron” is a testament to Miyazaki’s enduring ability to craft stories that resonate with audiences of all ages. While it might not be his most action-packed film, it delivers a powerful message about loss, resilience, and the importance of cherishing loved ones.

AKA: A fiú és a szürke gém,Chlapec a volavka,Chłopiec i czapla,Çocuk ve Balıkçıl,Dečak i čaplja,Der Junge und der Reiher,Dječak i čaplja,Drengen og hejren,El chico y la garza,El niño y la garza,Gutten og hegren,Ha'Yelled Ve'Ha'Anaffa,How Do You Live?,Il ragazzo e l'airone,Kimitachi wa dô ikiru ka,Le garçon et le héron,O Menino e a Garça,O Rapaz e a Garça,Pesar va Morgh-e Mahikhar,Poika ja haikara,Poiss ja haigur,Pojken och hägern,The Boy and the Heron,Thiếu Niên và Chim Diệc,Zēns un gārnis,Το αγόρι και ο ερωδιός,Как поживаете?,Мальчик и птица,Момчето и чаплата,Хлопчик і чапля,你们是怎样活下去的,你想活出怎样的人生,你想活出怎樣的人生,君たちはどう生きるか,男孩与苍鹭,蒼鷺與少年
Aimyon,Andrew Kishino,Barbara Goodson,Barbara Rosenblat,Christian Bale,Dan Stevens,Dave Bautista,Debi Derryberry,Denise Pickering,Florence Pugh,Gakudai,Gemma Chan,Jun Fubuki,Jun Kunimura,Kaoru Kobayashi,Karen Fukuhara,Karen Takizawa,Kazuki Suzuki,Keiko Takeshita,Kenta Okimori,Keone Young,Kiyoko Nishimura,Kô Shibasaki,Luca Padovan,Mamoudou Athie,Mark Hamill,Masaaki Doi,Masaki Suda,Melora Harte,Michael Sinterniklaas,Mikito Shigeta,Nami Uehara,Nika Futterman,Paul Nakauchi,Robert Pattinson,Ryunosuke Watanuki,Sannosuke Iizuka,Sawako Agawa,Shinobu Ôtake,Shohei Hino,Soma Santoki,Takuya Kimura,Takuya Yagyu,Tony Revolori,Willem Dafoe,Yoshihisa Ishita,Yoshino Kimura,Yûto Kawasaki
Keywords: 1940s, 20th century, abandoned building, abandoned library, afterlife, animal in title, animal name in title, anime animation, anthropomorphic bird, arsenal, aunt, based on novel, based on true story, beach, bird, bird flying in house, bird on fire, bird shot with an arrow, bird with teeth, birdman, blob, blood, blue fletched arrow, boat launching, bombing of tokyo, bone as weapon, bow and arrow, broom as a weapon, building blocks, burying a dead bird, canned food, canoe, canopy, carried on a stretcher, chained to a wall, chaise longue, charm, cigarette, circle of fire, climbing a tower, collapsing scaffold, collapsing tower, conflagration, convalescence, cork, country estate, crashing through a gate, cypress tree, death, death of mother, delivery room, dolmen, domestic servant, dying bird, eccentric uncle, ectoplasm, epic fantasy, estrangement, father, feather, fire, first flight, fish, fisherwoman, fishing boat, fishmonger, fletching an arrow, flooding, flying in formation, ghost, giant fish, granduncle, granduncle grandnephew relationship, granduncle grandniece relationship, grief, grindstone, gutting a fish, hand drawn animation, head bandage, head scar, heron, hitting one's head with a rock, household servant, human animal hybrid, human animal relationship, human face on animal, incantation, interdimensional travel, introduced species, isekai, katana, kidnapped relative as bargaining chip, king, liar, lie, life, long nose, loss of mother, magic, magic circle, magic wand, magical arrow, magical stone, maid, making a bow, malice, megalith, melting body, meteorite, mother, munitions factory, new school, novel, pacific war, pack of cigarettes, parade, parakeet, pelican, peninsula, postwar, power, pregnancy, pregnant stepmother, punctuation in title, pyrokinesis, remarriage, rickshaw, sailboat, sailor, school, search party, searching for one's mother, secret passageway, self inflicted injury, semi autobiographical, shapeshifting, sharpening a knife, ship cabin, shipwreck, shooting star, sinking into the floor, sliced in two, smoke ring, stacking, stealing a cigarette, stepmother, stepmother stepson relationship, student, studio ghibli, successor, swarm of birds, taboo, talking bird, talking to a bird, talking to one's dead mother, timeframe 1940s, timeframe 20th century, title appears in writing, title spoken by character, toad, tower, traditional animation, wizard, world war, world war two, year 1943, year 1944, year 1947, younger version of character