Studio Ghibli has done a good job at keeping the great animator Hayao Miyazaki's last film closely guarded, even after its release in Japan last month. Until now, all we had seen was a single slightly abstract poster promoting the Boy and the Heron in Japan.
But with an international premier coming up at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, a small handful of images have finally emerged. And the film looks to be just the kind of visually stunning masterpiece we hoped for (see our guide to Disney's 12 principles of animation for tops on mastering the art).
Ecco le prime immagini di "Kimitachi wa dō ikiru ka (#TheBoyAndTheHeron), il nuovo film d'animazione dello Studio Ghibli diretto da Hayao Miyazaki. Lo stile del Maestro è inconfondibile 😍 Attendiamo news sull'uscita italiana. pic.twitter.com/HfG3d2ZRZTAugust 14, 2023
Just a few stills from The Boy and the Heron have emerged on Twitter, including on an Italian fan Twitter page. They show the film's protagonist, a flock of birds, and in particular, a rather scary heron with human-like teeth that looks like classic Miyazaki, and also a mysterious floating object,
The images reveal the gorgeous artistic style that the now-retired Miyazaki is known for, with lush backgrounds and natural colours. They don't tell us much about the story, although we know that it was inspired by Genzaburō Yoshino’s 1937 novel How do you Live? The protagonist, Mahito Maki, is a young boy who finds an abandoned tower where he enters into contact with a fantastical world and a talking heron. We assume Maki is the boy in one of the images released in the first image.
The Boy and the Heron is expected to see a general international release later in the year, and it can't come soon enough. For animation tools of your own, see our pick of the best laptops for animation and the best animation software.