When Miyazaki presented The Boy and the Heron to Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki in 2016, he sought permission to weave a narrative inspired by his own life. This caught Suzuki off guard, as Miyazaki was not known for delving into such personal territory. Nevertheless, it aligned seamlessly with the Ghibli tradition of exploring cherished memories in their films.
The project has not only given the iconic anime director a renewed sense of confidence but has also drive his desire to delve into new stories. However, the maestro finds himself unable to fully immerse in fresh ideas while The Boy and the Heron continues its theatrical run.
During an interview with IndieWire, Suzuki confirms that Miyazaki is not retired. “He needs to empty his mind again,” Suzuki said. “And then when he’s emptied his mind with a blank canvas, he usually comes up with new ideas. So we have to wait a little more.”
He also mentioned that this film is “Miyazaki’s most personal film because he actually told me Miyazaki is Mahito, Takahata is the great uncle, and the gray heron is me.” Suzuki added, “So I asked him why. He said [Takahata] discovered his talent and added him to the staff. I think Takahata san was the one who helped him develop his ability. On the other hand, the relationship between the boy and the [heron] is a relationship where they don’t give in to each other, push and pull.”
The movie voice casts all A-list celebrities for the English dub including Robert Pattinson, Christian Bale and Mark Hamill.
The Boy and the Heron releases on December 8.