Legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki has “retired” several times, most recently in 2013 after his historical masterpiece The Wind Rises hit theaters worldwide. Even though he supposedly reversed his decision after working on a short film in 2018 for the Ghibli Museum, it’s worth mentioning that many of those reversals happened after his son Goro Miyazaki made films for Studio Ghibli that are not as well-received as his father’s are. Goro’s Earwig and the Witch, the first 3D animated Ghibli feature, was harshly panned by critics and audiences alike, and thus, Hayao must come out of retirement once again to make another masterpiece.
|Image courtesy of GKIDS
That masterpiece is The Boy and the Heron, Miyazaki’s first film in ten years and inspired by his experience reading the 20th-century novel How Do You Live?, which factors into the film’s story. I was lucky enough to see The Boy and the Heron at this year’s New York Film Festival, which marked its United States premiere, and as a Ghibli fan, I couldn’t have been more excited.