ELLE Show Time: The Boy And The Heron Has Hit Indian Cinemas. Here’s Our Review Of This Magical Oscar Winner Film

The Boy and the Heron

I have been a Studio Ghibli fan ever since I watched Howl’s Moving Castle for the first time to now watching The Boy and the Heron. For me, Studio Ghibli is more than a source of entertainment; this production house has comforted me in the lowest times of my life. Their filmography is equivalent to a warm hug on a bad day for so many of us. For those who aren’t familiar with them, Studio Ghibli is known for its intricate 2D animation style and fantastical tales, which will transport you into a magical world and make you wish for it to be real.

Studio Ghibli’s success story is written by none other than Japanese manga master Hayao Miyazaki, who stepped out of retirement to create this Oscar-winning title, The Boy and the Heron. And after months of fan campaigns and almost bullying film distributors, the movie has hit Indian theatres. As expected, Miyazaki delivered an exquisite hand-drawn work that slightly based his own upbringing on a period of war. Miyazaki’s unmatched talent is evident in every frame of ‘The Boy and the Heron’, which proved the movie’s Oscar worth.

The Plot

The Boy and the Heron is an incredibly gorgeous, detailed fantasy that combines parts that are obviously autobiographical for the filmmaker with recurring themes and tactics from earlier works. The story’s dream logic appears to have sprung from a child’s unbridled imagination rather than an 80-year-old man’s. Joe Hisaishi, a frequent collaborator of Miyazaki, composed sumptuous orchestral music that is both dazzling and joyous.

Hayao Miyazaki's New Film 'The Boy and the Heron' Wanders Into a Magical World of Life and Death — Colossal

The Boy and the Heron opens with a shot from a community that has fallen victim to a war. Mahito, the boy in question, claims that his mother perished in that very conflict. Additionally, a concerned heron claims the mother is alive. The father of Mahito, like the director’s father, is in charge of a factory that produces fighter jet parts. Mahito, who is still in mourning, is compelled to go from Tokyo to the rural estate where both his mother and Natsuko (mother’s sister and now stepmother) grew up.

His father remarries Natsuko, the younger sister of his ex-wife. Later, Mahito meets a woman who looks exactly like his mother; the enigma surrounding her presence only gets bigger. Mahito’s new house is surrounded by a strange, vast castle with a lake and a partially abandoned, bricked-up tower on its grounds, inhabited by a staff of quarrelling, elderly crones.

Azertyrobaz — THE BOY AND THE HERON (2023) ...

Additionally, the castle is home to a cheeky grey heron (voiced by Robert Pattinson) in English who appears to have a special liking for Mahito. At the heron’s caustic urging, Mahito steps through the forbidden tower and is pulled into a netherworld where timelines are interwoven and a high-stakes Jenga game governs the domain’s architecture.

Oblivious Toast — Kiriko - The Boy and The Heron

Other residents of this realm are the fire maiden Himi, a community of enormous man-eating parakeets, and Kiriko, a dashing sailor and fisherwoman with magical abilities. Reading the plot might overwhelm a person who doesn’t watch Studio Ghibli, but for regular viewers, it’s a journey into a new universe.


There’s nothing we can say about the visuals of the movie, as The Boy and the Heron is a breathtaking masterpiece. The storyline gets a bit too much to handle in some moments, but Miyazaki knows how to handle the narration smoothly. There were also a few occasions when I laughed aloud, especially because the parakeets who looked like those Duolingo owls were so funny and scary at the same time. However, this is a Studio Ghibli movie, so it’s a mix of humour and misery (relatable).

☆ Studio Ghibli ☆ — The Boy And The Heron (2023) dir. Hayao Miyazaki

The studio has never shied away from presenting difficult tales of bereavement. Similar to their several other flicks, this one doesn’t hold back when it comes to putting kids through hardship, darkness, and peril. Many years ago, Miyazaki stated, “Children understand intuitively that the world they have been born into is not a blessed world.”

MRW Hayao Miyazaki is returning to do one final film.

And looking at the current world, the movie will force you to think about so many situations. The worst part of the movie is that it ends because you won’t help but shed some tears and pray to live in the world of The Boy and the Heron. Films like The Boy and the Heron are a blessing to cinephiles. Personally, I’m eager to see what Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli create when he next takes a break from his retirement. (Fingers crossed).

So, do yourself a favour and don’t miss the opportunity to watch Hayao Miyazaki’s magical The Boy and the Heron this weekend.

- Digital Writer


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