Ghibli’s newest film after seven years has provided fans with a fresh new fairytale.“The Boy and the Heron,” which centers on a young boy who has to adapt to changes in his life following the passing of his mother, discovers a peculiar heron at his new home. Deciding to follow the bird leads to an exciting journey of self-discovery.
As a child, first introduced to Studio Ghibli, I viewed the films as an escape into a new world. I was captivated by the colors and fantastical characters. I never saw the situations as relatable or indicative of a larger meaning.
However, now facing my later years of adolescence, I can take something entirely new from “The Boy and the Heron.” I now saw a film whose maturity displayed some of the realities of growing up that I have faced. And continue to see why Studio Ghibli is widely loved by people aged young and old.
I wasn’t the only person moved by this movie.
@cinemonika the boy and the heron review 🏼 #studioghibli #hayaomiyazaki #theboyandtheheron #howdoyoulive ♬ original sound - cinemonika
The film even earned the title of the first original anime in history to top the North American box office charts with a $13 million opening, and most recently won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture.
The film introduces themes of growth and the notion that it is okay not to hold so persistently onto our past. Allowing our experiences to shape us instead of defining us.
Some fans believe that “The Boy and the Heron” provides a poignant onlook to the supposed ending of the director of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki's, career. Seeing the film as a refreshing change of pace and a dip into more profound themes. Other fans believe that the story lacks a cohesive plot, feeling that the meaning is less obvious.
A voice in this matter is Alanna Okun. A writer and senior editor journaling for Vox Media. Who wrote in an article, “This existential ballast is a Studio Ghibli hallmark as surely as the sprawling fantasy worlds and brightly animated characters. The Boy and the Heron, in turn, asks what happens in the aftermath of great loss: how to make sense of the world’s cold logic and baffling illogic, and how to find joy and personal achievement even while bearing the weight of it all…”
Siah Brawley (she/her) is a senior in high school with an interest in current media and culture.
Edited by Nykeya Woods