GKIDS will be releasing Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron in theaters sometime later this year, though an exact date has yet to be revealed. However, the Toronto International Film Festival (a.k.a. TIFF) revealed that it will use The Boy and the Heron on September 7 as its opening film. So as of now, Toronto will have both the international and North American premiere of the movie.
The Toronto Film Festival has never opened with a Japanese movie or an animated movie before, so these are two milestones.
Though Studio Ghibli made the point of not advertising The Boy and the Heron, it nabbed the number one spot of the box office on its opening weekend.
The movie is inspired by the book How Do You Live? by Genzaburō Yoshino. Algonquin Young Readers publishes it in English and gave this description for it:
“The first English translation of the classic Japanese novel that has sold over two million copies, now featured in the film The Boy and the Heron from anime master Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle), with an introduction by Neil Gaiman.
First published in 1937, Genzaburō Yoshino’s How Do You Live? has long been acknowledged in Japan as a crossover classic for young readers. The novel is narrated in two voices. The first belongs to Copper, fifteen, who after the death of his father must confront inevitable and enormous change, including his own betrayal of his best friend. In between episodes of Copper’s emerging story, his uncle writes to him in a journal, sharing knowledge and offering advice on life’s big questions as Copper begins to encounter them. Over the course of the story, Copper, like his namesake Copernicus, looks to the stars, and uses his discoveries about the heavens, earth, and human nature to answer the question of how he will live.
This first-ever English-language translation of a Japanese classic about finding one’s place in a world both infinitely large and unimaginably small is perfect for readers of philosophical fiction like The Alchemist and The Little Prince, as well as Miyazaki fans eager to understand his mysterious new film and its many influences.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.