‘The Boy and the Heron’ – Hayao Miyazaki’s Latest is Visually Sumptuous, Narratively Less So | 1 Minute Movie Reviews


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Hayao Miyazaki draws from his own childhood for his 12th animated feature film as director.

The master behind beautiful works such as Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle has another visually sumptuous film with The Boy and the Heron. The film touches on war and loss, specifically how it affects a young boy. It’s a highly imaginative work, with all manner of creatures and beautifully rendered worlds to relish.

Now, while I did mostly enjoy the film, I did find that the balance between the many metaphors and the fantastical wonder didn’t quite gel with the heart – as some of his past works have done so masterfully. There’s no denying the artistry on screen, it’s just the narrative didn’t really work – for me. There are interesting fantastical, almost sci-fi-esque ideas, but they’re briskly touched on without really delving into our lead character, who I found a little bit dull.

I also found the film’s finale to be a little bit rushed, which I thought numbed the emotional impact it could have had. Nevertheless, while The Boy and the Heron didn’t quite reach the heights for me, it’s still another quality outing for Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki.