There's not long to go before Hayao Miyazaki's next Ghibli film hits cinemas outside of Japan, and we've been treated to yet another teaser. This time, it's actually rather revelatory. The official music video for The Boy and the Heron gives us a sneak peek of the movie's score and features exclusive snippets from the film, which up until now has remained fairly mysterious.
The new score, composed by Kenshi Yonezu, is a perfect blend of traditional Ghibli-style instrumentals with a modern musical twist – truly immersing you in Miyazaki's magical world. (If you're inspired by Ghibli's iconic animation, take a look at our guide to the best animation software to bring your own illustrated world to life).
The original score titled "Spinning Clocks," begins with a light piano accompaniment as a male voice sings above the gentle notes. As a thumping drum-heavy bassline is introduced, the music continuously builds, before crescendoing to an emotional heart-wrenching peak. It's got Ghibli written all over it and I'm already anticipating that the nostalgic visuals and the score combined are going to make for a total tear-jerker of a movie.
While the music video itself doesn't reveal lots about the plot, it does give us a more detailed look at the world in which it takes place. In a diverse array of scenes, we're taken from rough seas and dense jungles to mysterious fantasy landscapes – all designed in Miyazaki's signature dreamy illustrative style.
While it certainly feels quintessentially Ghibli, there are certain scenes that don't fit the typical wholesome themes. With scenes set in mysterious liminal spaces and eerie dreamscapes, there seems to be an underlying theme that feels darker than in Miyazaki's previous films.
An adaptation of the novel 'How Do You Live?' the film will feature themes of death and grief (not typically the most Ghibli-friendly topics). It follows protagonist Mahito Maki, a young boy living during WWII, as he navigates life after losing his mother. After following a mysterious Heron, he's plunged into a magical underworld where the living and the dead exist in tandem.
Other than that, Ghilbi has been very elusive about the upcoming film's plot, but if the score is anything to go by, just make sure you pack some tissues before your trip to the cinema.
The film will be released in the US and Canada on the 8 December, before hitting UK cinemas on the 26 December – the ultimate (late) Christmas present. For more updates, check out our thoughts on the first trailer for The Boy and the Heron and check out the Studio Ghibli x Uniqlo collab to bag yourself some Ghibli goodies.