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How to Watch The Boy and the Heron in the US

Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, How Do You Live?, premiered in July in Japanese theaters, and is coming to the US in December 2023 under the name The Boy and the Heron.

Normally, when we at recommend an upcoming movie, we like to include the trailer for added context. When page loading speeds forbid us from using a trailer, we opt for a screenshot. In the absence of a screenshot, we, at the very least, give a synopsis.

But when it released in Japan earlier in 2023, the new film from director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli offers none of this. How Do You Live? (or Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka), which arrived in Japanese theaters on July 14, does not have a trailer. It doesn’t have any promotional images, save for a single poster. And while we know that the film is an adaptation of a book from 1937, the studio didn’t provide a ton of additional information.

This lack of info is a deliberate choice from producer Toshio Suzuki, who works closely with Miyazaki. Suzuki said the lack of marketing is the antithesis of the American approach—that is, releasing so many trailers that the audience knows the whole story before they show up—and is ultimately “what moviegoers latently desire.

(And honestly? He’s probably right.)

However, Western movie theaters have slightly less faith in their audiences. Retitled The Boy and the Heron, this latest Ghibli film does finally have a trailer ahead of its December 8 release date. You can find it below (unless you’d rather be a purist and remain unspoiled.)

Catch your favorite Ghibli films on the big screen

Ghibli Fest 2023 is upon us, so don’t miss your favorite classic Ghibli films like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and Howl’s Moving Castle screening for a limited time at your local theater.

How Do You Live? premiere date

How Do You Live? premiered in Japanese theaters on July 14, 2023. It will arrive in US theaters on December 8 under the new name The Boy and the Heron, according to Crunchyroll and GKIDS.

Keep an eye on this page, which we’ll keep updated when we have new information. Or check out our anime hub page for other industry news.

What is How Do You Live? about?

Well, hey now, that would defeat the purpose of the anti-marketing campaign! What we can tell you is that How Do You Live? is an adaptation of the 1937 novel of the same name, about a high-school student coping with a death in his family.

Also, some added context about How Do You Live?: this is probably Hayao Miyazaki’s final film with Studio Ghibli. He already retired once before, in 2013, but came out of retirement in 2016 to start working on just one more film.

But who really knows? It might not be his last film after all.

The poster for How Do You Live?: a drawing of a person in a bird costume on a white background with red Japanese text.

How to watch How Do You Live? in the US

The English-language sub and dub of How Do You Live?, retitled The Boy and the Heron, are coming to American theaters on December 8. We expect it will eventually move to Max with the rest of the Studio Ghibli collection.

The Boy and the Heron‘s English dub features a slew of A-list stars, including:

  • Christian Bale
  • Dave Bautista
  • Gemma Chan
  • Willem Dafoe
  • Karen Fukuhara
  • Mark Hamill
  • Robert Pattinson
  • and Florence Pugh!

Pro tip: Getting impatient? While you wait for Miyazaki’s final film to make its way to the States, relive your favorite Studio Ghibli stories with Max.

The Boy and the Heron US release date and trailer

The Boy and the Heron, the English-language version of How Do You Live?, is premiering in American theaters on December 8.

It is director Hayao Miyazaki’s first feature film since 2013’s The Wind Rises. After premiering in Japan, the film opened the Toronto Film Festival in September and will soon screen at the New York Film Festival.

If you’d like to enjoy the film unspoiled, as its producer intended, stop reading now. Japanese audiences knew nothing going into the film, and you can, too.

But as for American audiences, we have a little more information, including a trailer. (Watch it below.) We also have the official logline, or short teaser description, of the film: “A young boy named Mahito longing 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.”

How to watch The Boy and the Heron

There will be two versions of the film released in the U.S. The first will be the original Japanese with English subtitles and the second will be a new English-language dubbed version.

The film will be released in theaters on December 8, 2023.

You can watch previous Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films, including Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl’s Moving Castle on Max today and in select theaters during Studio Ghibli Fest.

The Boy and the Heron movie trailer

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