A decade after releasing The Wind Rises — originally thought to be his final film before retirement — master animator Hayao Miyazaki has returned with a new project, The Boy and the Heron.
The Boy and the Heron was originally released in Japan with no promotion beyond Miyazaki’s involvement. Studio Ghibli is being less cryptic when it comes to the film’s international release, providing us with a beautiful trailer and a (still somewhat cryptic) description. According to the synopsis, The Boy and the Heron is a “semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation,” following a young boy named Mahito searching for his mother in a “world shared by the living and the dead.”
We get glimpses of this world in The Boy and the Heron‘s teaser trailer, full of lush greenery, mysterious ruins, and magical creatures like talking fish. Then, there’s the titular heron itself, which flits around Mahito as he arrives in this new world. Honestly, that imagery is more than enough to create excitement about The Boy and the Heron — even though Miyazaki’s name alone really would have been enough.
The Boy and the Heron opens in select theaters Nov. 22 before expanding across the US and Canada Dec. 8.