Home Miyazaki’s Latest Masterpiece, ‘The Boy and the Heron,’ Earns Perfect Rotten Tomatoes Rating

Miyazaki’s Latest Masterpiece, ‘The Boy and the Heron,’ Earns Perfect Rotten Tomatoes Rating

miyazakis latest masterpiece the boy and the heron earns perfect rotten tomatoes rating

Studio Ghibli’s highly anticipated new movie, “The Boy and the Heron,” has made an outstanding debut, achieving a remarkable 100% fresh rating on the popular review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Directed by notable filmmaker and artist Hayao Miyazaki, this film marks his first project since the acclaimed “The Wind Rises” in 2013.

Loosely inspired by the 1937 novel “How Do You Live?” by Yoshino Genzaburō, “The Boy and the Heron” takes viewers on a magical journey. The story follows a young boy named Mahito who, yearning for his mother, embarks on an adventure into a realm that blurs the lines between the living and the deceased. Here, death is not the end but a new beginning. The film is described as a semi-autobiographical fantasy that explores profound themes of life, death, creation, and friendship—a hallmark of Hayao Miyazaki’s storytelling.

Notably, “The Boy and the Heron” took Japan by surprise with a stealthy release in July, devoid of any pre-release promotion. Despite this unconventional approach, the film shattered box office records during its opening weekend.

Initial reviews from Japan were mixed, but subsequent critiques have been overwhelmingly positive, contributing to the movie’s impressive 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on eight reviews at the time of this writing.

Several prominent critics have lauded the film’s depth and emotional resonance. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as a heartfelt portrayal of resilience and the power of friendship in the face of conflict and grief. IndieWire characterizes it as a poignant exploration of artistic creation in a world susceptible to destruction. Meanwhile, Variety recognizes the film’s alignment with Miyazaki’s earlier works while celebrating its unpredictability. Moreover, Time Out hails it as a mature and complex masterpiece that weaves together the director’s past, present, and future.

“The Boy and the Heron” is set to hit US cinemas on December 8, following special previews beginning on November 22. 

Miyazaki, known as a living legend in the world of animation, has consistently pushed the boundaries of storytelling and animation. His films, such as “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and “Ponyo,” have not only received critical acclaim but have also captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. With “The Boy and the Heron,” Miyazaki continues to blend the real and the surreal in his distinctive hand-drawn style, offering viewers a mesmerizing and emotionally charged cinematic experience.

While some may speculate that this film could be Miyazaki’s farewell to filmmaking due to its themes of mortality and legacy, Studio Ghibli has hinted at future projects. According to Junichi Nishioka, a Studio Ghibli executive, Miyazaki is actively exploring ideas for a new film, dispelling any retirement rumors. 

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