The Boy and the Heron Review 2023

The Boy and the Heron Review: “The Boy and the Heron” is like the sushi of animated films – it’s raw talent wrapped in a delicate package. Directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli.

Now, let’s talk about Miyazaki. Back in 2013, after his magnum opus “The Wind Rises,” he pulled a Houdini on us and announced retirement. We thought, “Well, the guy’s not getting any younger, and animating all those enchanting worlds must be exhausting, right?” But oh, how wrong we were. Fast forward to 2023, and the man is back in the director’s chair, ready to drop another gem. It’s like seeing your grandpa bust out dance moves at the family reunion – unexpected, but oh so delightful.

So, what’s “The Boy and the Heron” all about? Well, it’s like Miyazaki took a stroll down memory lane and decided to revisit his own artistic footprints. Picture a young boy escaping into a whimsical fantasy world to dodge life’s curveballs. It’s a bit like déjà vu, reminiscent of “My Neighbor Totoro,” but with a seasoned twist. You see, Miyazaki isn’t recycling ideas; he’s remixing them with the finesse of a master chef. It’s like having your favorite dish prepared by a Michelin-star chef – familiar, yet extraordinary.

Now, let’s get to the eye candy – the visuals. “The Boy and the Heron” isn’t just a movie; it’s a breathtaking art gallery on the move. The film boasts stunning set pieces and meticulously crafted worlds that could make Monet jealous. Miyazaki doesn’t just show off; he flaunts his mastery. It’s like he’s telling other animators, “Watch and learn, kids!” And the moments of silence, the spaces between words – it’s like the film is flirting with the concept of “ma” (empty space) in a way that leaves the competition in the dust. Hollywood, take notes!

Beyond the sheer beauty, the film dives into deep emotional waters. It’s not just a kids’ flick; it’s a masterclass in handling heavy themes. Picture this: “How Do You Live?” That’s the original Japanese title, and it hints at the film’s emotional core – dealing with grief, moving forward after loss, and the bittersweet journey of life. It’s like a rollercoaster ride of emotions, with the tracks made of tear-jerking moments.

But wait, there’s more. “The Boy and the Heron” isn’t just a story; it’s Miyazaki’s autobiography in animated form. The young protagonist, mad at the world, echoes Miyazaki’s earlier characters in films like “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” and “Princess Mononoke” There are hints of Miyazaki’s family history during World War II, and it’s like a history lesson with a dash of anime magic.

In the grand scheme of things, this movie is Miyazaki’s mic-drop moment. It’s like he’s saying, “Hey, young animators, watch and learn! Fantasies are fun, but reality is your canvas.” It’s like a passing of the torch, a challenge to those who dare follow in his footsteps.

In a nutshell, “The Boy and the Heron” is Hayao Miyazaki’s love letter to his own legacy, wrapped up in stunning visuals and deep emotions. It’s like the grand finale of a firework show – dazzling, emotional, and leaving you wanting more, even though you know it’s over.

The Boy and the Heron Review 2023

The Boy and the Heron
The Boy and the Heron

The Boy and the Heron Review: So, picture this: Hayao Miyazaki, the animation wizard, decides to dive into the isekai genre, and guess what? It’s like the perfect farewell tour from the grand poobah of animation himself.

The Boy and the Heron is set to grace our screens on December 8, and I had the privilege of catching a sneak peek at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. Yes, I’ve got the scoop before you even knew there was ice cream.

Now, let’s rewind to 2013 when Miyazaki announced retirement after his aviation masterpiece, The Wind Rises. It was like the end of an era – the guy was no spring chicken, and making animated magic takes time. Plus, Jiro Horikoshi’s life story was the cherry on top of his illustrious career, sending a clear message that he’s bowing out on a high note.

But then, plot twist! Miyazaki decides to unretire, and we all hold our breath, thinking, “Is he gonna top The Wind Rises? Does he even have anything new up those wizard sleeves?”

As for the former question, it’s a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure. The Boy and the Heron feels like a glorious throwback to Miyazaki’s earlier works, to the point where you might mistake it for a My Neighbor Totoro reboot at times. It’s all about a kid escaping into a fantasy world to dodge some harsh realities. Classic Miyazaki, right?

But wait, there’s more! Miyazaki isn’t just playing the greatest hits album here. When The Boy and the Heron busts out the fantastical creatures and whimsical sequences, it’s like Miyazaki with a Ph.D. in animation. Sure, it’s an isekai, where everyone and their cat gets transported to another world, but it’s done with the wisdom of someone who’s been in the game for decades. And oh boy, does it take a dark turn when the kid tries to dodge school – it’s like a lesson in “Don’t try this at home” but in glorious, graphic detail.

Visually, this movie is a jaw-dropper. Miyazaki’s pièce de résistance, his magnum opus in the art of animation. The set pieces and world-building are so dazzling, you might need sunglasses in the theater. And the opening scene with a kid running through Tokyo during a massive fire? It’s like watching a painting come to life, with people disappearing into the smoke like a bunch of ninjas. Hollywood, take notes!

But does Miyazaki have anything new to bring to the table? You bet your enchanted forest he does. The Boy and the Heron isn’t just a kid’s flick; it’s a profound reflection on life, death, and the meaning of it all. Miyazaki made this movie to prep his grandson for the inevitable – the loss of his grandpa. It’s all in the original Japanese title, “How Do You Live?” – it’s more like “How Do You Keep on Living After Losing Someone You Love?” The feels, my friends, the feels.

And the music, oh, the music! Longtime Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi pulls heartstrings like a pro, swinging between playful and soul-crushing. It’s like the emotional rollercoaster of “Up” crammed into one movie.

The Boy and the Heron is basically a Miyazaki autobiography. Our hero is a kid who’s mad at the world, just like Miyazaki’s earlier characters in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke. And there’s more: Miyazaki’s family drama, World War II, and the nitty-gritty of daily life during wartime – it’s all there, like a history lesson in anime form.

In the grand scheme of things, The Boy and the Heron is Miyazaki’s mic-drop moment. It’s like he’s saying, “Hey, young guns, pay attention! Fantasies are fun and all, but don’t forget to face reality.” It’s a bit like that last Evangelion movie, made by one of Miyazaki’s protégés – a double dose of anime wisdom.

If this is Miyazaki’s farewell tour, it’s his way of saying, “Your turn, kids!” A challenge to aspiring animators: “Try to top this if you dare!” But it’s also a message of hope, urging the next generation to take up the mantle and raise the bar.

In a nutshell, The Boy and the Heron is Hayao Miyazaki’s love letter to his own legacy, wrapped up in stunning visuals and deep emotions. It’s like the grand finale of a fireworks show – dazzling, emotional, and leaving you wanting more, even though you know it’s over.

Verdict: The Boy and the Heron Review

It’s the ultimate Miyazaki masterpiece, the cherry on top of his career sundae. Don’t miss it, or you’ll be missing out on animation history in the making.”

Also Read: Top 15 Greatest Anime Characters of All Time: Unveiling Legends

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