In the months before The Boy and The Heron’s Japanese debut, Studio Ghibli made a point of keeping details about the latest animated feature from Hayao Miyazaki to a minimum. For those who’ve been trying to avoid spoilers, it’s definitely gotten trickier what with all the buzz coming from its run on the film festival circuit. But as much as you might expect the trailer for GKids’ English dub to give away, it’s a surprisingly restrained and tantalizing look at just what has everyone so worked up.
It’s difficult to parse where and when The Boy and the Heron’s young protagonist Mahito (Luca Padovan) is in the movie’s new trailer, but it is clear that all of the odd and inexplicable occurrences around him have something to do with a strange talking Grey Heron (Robert Pattinson) that seems to know something about his mother. As confused about his own dreams in which his mother calls out for help, he’s even more alarmed at the Heron’s awareness of what’s going on in his head and insistence that Mahito must follow him to a magical world.
Without really spelling out the movie’s story, the trailer highlights the sense of wonder that overtakes Mahito as the Grey Heron spirits him away in classical Miyazaki fashion, and it gives you just enough of the English dub cast’s performances to make it sound like The Boy and the Heron’s going to land pretty well with US audiences when it hit theaters on December 8th.
Correction November 2, 1:05 PM ET: This post has been updated to correctly list The Boy and the Heron’s December 8th release date.