Independent producer and distributor GKIDS has revealed the English voice cast The boy and the heron, Hayao Miyazaki’s hand-drawn animated film. GKIDS is managing the production of the English version in close consultation with Studio Ghibli. With a release date of December 8, 2023, in North America, this film is an original semi-autobiographical story and Oscar winner Miyazaki’s first feature film in ten years.
The boy and the heron was released on July 14th in Japan and the film was an absolute hit. The title marked its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be screened in IMAX at the TCL Chinese Theater on October 18 to mark the launch of the Animation Is Film Festival.
Also read: ‘It’s hard to be a Japanese god these days’: Hayao Miyazaki’s obsession made Studio Ghibli’s Oscar-winning film possible, despite risking his American fan base
The English voice for The Boy and the Heron
His English voice The boy and the heron has been officially revealed and consists of top actors. It includes names like Christian Bale, Florence Pugh, Mark Hamill and many more. The Studio Ghibli film was considered the last pitstop of animator Hayao Miyazaki’s career.
The English Voice cast includes Christian Bale, the star of the film, who plays the protagonist, Soichi Maki. Dave Bautista as The Parakeet King, Gemma Chan as Natsuko, Willem Dafoe as Noble Pelican, Karen Fukuhara as Lady Himi, Mark Hamill as Granduncle, Robert Pattinson as The Gray Heron and finally Florence Pugh as Kiriko.
Most of the talent included in the cast have some sort of experience with voice acting. Christian Bale has previously worked on another Studio Ghibli film, Howl’s Moving Castle as Howl, starring Florence Pugh Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Mark Hamill is a household name and the iconic voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series no introduction needed!
Also read: ‘That much?’: Hayao Miyazaki’s Final Studio Ghibli film is the most expensive film in Japanese history, producer confirms
What is The Boy and the Heron about?
Studio Ghibli described his summary The boy and the heron as, “A young boy named Mahito longing for his mother enters a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death ends and life finds a new beginning. A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death and creation, a tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.
The wind is getting stronger was Miyazaki’s last film ten years ago. It was a historical biopic of Japanese aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi. The boy and the heron returns to the fantasy elements that any Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli fan will recognize. This includes his previous works such as; Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.
Also read: ‘Studio Ghibli has been struggling for a long time’: Unable to find a successor to the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli will be sold to Nippon TV
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