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'The Boy And The Heron' Trailer Drops, Release Date Revealed

It's been years since we've seen anything from Studio Ghibli. It's been even longer since we've seen anything from Hayao Miyazaki. It's been a full decade since the maestro announced that The Wind Rises would be his final film. Like with all his previous 'retirements' it didn't last long. He came out of retirement first to work on the CGI short Boro The Caterpillar and then later to work on his (allegedly) final feature. Originally known by the title How Do You Live? it was eventually known by the international title of The Boy And The Heron.

The remarkable thing about the Boy And The Heron is that we have known next to nothing about it throughout its entire production. Although there have been plenty of rumours and much speculation, we've had to make do with only the tiniest scraps of information. We know that the film is connected in some way with the 1930's Japanese novel How Do You Live? by Genzaburō Yoshinoc- but it's not a direct adaptation. This information drought has continued right throughout production and until after the film's Japanese release.

Ghibli and Miyazaki made an unprecedented decision and did not release a trailer, stills or even a synopsis prior to the film's Japanese release. The film was released in Japan on July 14 and has so far grossed over ¥7.7 billion; (US$52.6 million).

US distributor GKIDS Films have announced that they will release the film in North America later this year. Initially, they were following Ghibli's lead and not releasing any promotional material. Now, they have released the first trailer and given us our first look at the film.

The film centres on 12-year-old Mahito, who struggles to cope in the wake of the death of his mother. On moving to a new town, a talking heron tells him his mother is still alive. Attempting to find her he discovers an abandoned tower that takes him to another world.

The film is an original story written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, produced by Toshio Suzuki, with an original score written by Joe Hisaishi.

GKIDS have announced that they will open the film in limited preview screenings on November 22, before expanding to a full release across the US and Canada from December 8. The film will screen both in its original language with subtitles and a new English dubbed version.

The Boy And The Heron will receive its international premiere as the opening night gala as part of The Toronto International Film Festival on September 7. Tickets to all TIFF screenings sold out in record time. The film's US Premiere will take place at the New York Film Festival, The European premiere will be at the Opening Night of San Sebastian International Film Festival, and its UK premiere is at the BFI London Film Festival.

Check out the trailer, below.