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Welcome the New Year with whimsy and fantasy with The Boy and The Heron Showing January 8

The Boy and the Heron,” Academy Award winner Hayao Miyazaki’s latest masterpiece, will open in Philippine cinemas January 8. The film, a deeply personal project for the acclaimed filmmaker, is the first Miyazaki film to be shown on the big screen in the Philippines.

Fans of Miyazaki have been eagerly awaiting “The Boy and the Heron,” the beloved animator’s first feature film in 10 years, and it looks like they won’t be disappointed. The film earned critical acclaim during its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Guillermo del Toro, himself an award-winning auteur, introduced the film at its gala presentation and praised Miyazaki and his latest work in an interview for the festival.

“Hayao Miyazaki, I think, is a guy that has exquisite technical finesse, but is also a man that has decided to confide in us his most intimate biography through his work,” said del Toro. “Rhythmically, he is very contemplative,” continued del Toro, sharing his thoughts on “The Boy and the Heron.” “There was something exquisite, an old master dispenses with tools and dispenses with flourishes. They stop trying to impress, and they do sort of a simple but beautiful gesture with the brush. And that’s what it felt to me, it was an incredibly beautiful gesture with the brush.”

“The Boy and the Heron,” which was recently awarded Best Animated Film by the New York Film Critics Circle, currently holds a 96% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics lauding the film’s thought-provoking themes and beautiful visuals.

Raved Rolling Stone magazine about Miyazaki, “No one needed further proof that he’s a master. This meditation on grief and growing up does solidify the position, however, that Miyazaki remains the greatest living animator today, period.”

“Miyazaki’s commitment to 2D feels rich, evocative and cinematic,” said Deadline.com. “Every frame is a hand-painted canvas, reminding viewers of the depth and emotion that traditional animation can convey.”

The Hollywood Reporter was all praises for the film’s animation too, saying, “Virtually every impeccably framed composition could be a distinct work of art… Then there’s the exacting attention to foreground detail and movement, all of it stitched into fluid visual storytelling in which even the oddest elements cohere into a harmonious whole.” Of the story, they said, “generations who grew up with [Miyazaki’s] animated tales will find it loaded with meaning. There’s tenderness, melancholy and wonder at its core.”

“The Boy and the Heron” opened at No. 1 with a record-breaking $12.8 million at the North American box-office.  This also marks a historic feat where it became the first original anime title to top the box-office chart.  The film also earned Miyazaki his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Motion Picture and is also nominated for Best Original Score (Joe Hisaishi).

The anime film also opened at No. 1 in Japan, which marked the biggest opening weekend for a Miyazaki film in the country. It also led the box office after its opening in South Korea, Taiwan and France (where it broke the record for biggest opening day haul for 2023). The film’s voice cast includes Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, J-pop star Aimyon, Yoshino Kimura and Takuya Kimura of former J-pop boy band SMAP.

Get ready to embark on a mesmerizing journey with Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron” when it opens in Philippine cinemas January 8.

From Encore Films to be distributed by Warner Bros., be sure to catch the film on the big screen, the first ever Miyazaki title to be released in cinemas locally, and immerse yourself in a world of magic, adventure and wonder! #TheBoyandTheHeron

The Boy and the Heron Trailer

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