Back in July, GKIDS announced it had acquired the North American distribution rights for Hayao Miyazaki’s highly anticipated animated film Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka (translated as How Do You Live) which will be known as The Boy and the Heron in the states. Today GKIDS not only announced the release date for the film but also unveiled the first The Boy and the Heron trailer. 

Check out the trailer and press release details below:

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of award-winning animation from around the globe, announced today it will bring THE BOY AND THE HERON, the highly anticipated new film from legendary, Academy Award-winning Hayao Miyazaki, to cinemas nationwide on December 8, 2023. The latest feature from Japan’s celebrated animation house, Studio Ghibli, begins special preview engagements on November 22 before expanding to cinemas nationwide and in Canada on December 8, 2023. As with previous Studio Ghibli titles, the film will be released in its original Japanese with English subtitles, as well as a new English language version.

GKIDS also released the first teaser trailer for THE BOY AND THE HERON, marking the first time footage from the film has been shown outside of Japanese theaters. In an unprecedented decision by Studio Ghibli, no images, trailers, synopses, advertisements, or other information about the film were made available to the public prior to its release in theaters in Japan on July 14th. First look images were recently revealed by Studio Ghibli in celebration of the film’s ongoing theatrical release in Japan. Last week, GKIDS released an English language “pre-teaser,” which officially introduced the film’s story. 

The hand-drawn, animated feature – director Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years – is an original story written and directed by Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, produced by co-founder Toshio Suzuki, and featuring a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi. Its theme song, “Spinning Globe,” was penned and performed by global J-pop superstar Kenshi Yonezu.

THE BOY AND THE HERON makes its international premiere at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival on September 7 as the Opening Night Gala. Tickets to all TIFF screenings sold out in record time. This fall, the film makes its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival, its European Premiere as the Opening Night of San Sebastian International Film Festival, and its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. 

GKIDS handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films across all theatrical, home video, digital, and streaming platforms. The company has released Studio Ghibli’s most recent films in theaters nationwide, including the Academy Award-nominated The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, the Academy Award-nominated When Marnie Was There, From Up on Poppy Hill and more. Since 2017, GKIDS has produced the annual Ghibli Fest, a monthly nationwide theatrical program of Studio Ghibli film screenings in over 800 theaters across the country. The series continues this year with a focus on the films of Hayao Miyazaki.

Below is a description of THE BOY AND THE HERON recently released by Studio Ghibli: 

The Boy and the Heron

A young boy named Mahito

yearning for his mother

ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead.

There, death comes to an end,

and life finds a new beginning.

A semi-autobiographical fantasy

about life, death, and creation,

in tribute to friendship,

from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.