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Siskoid's avatar


It strikes me, perhaps more in The Boy and the Heron than in previous films, that Miyazaki heightens the wonder of his fantastical worlds by first giving us a very solid reality, filled with tiny, relatable details. The way your foot sinks in mud. A reflection in a mirror. All the bird poop! Less Totoro than a dark version of Spirited Away, the film nevertheless has its share of humor, usually provided by the comedy grannies, the always cute warawara, and the fascist budgies. But it's still a pretty serious story. Mahito has lost his mother in WWII's fire bombings of Tokyo, and goes out to the country to be raised by his aunt until the end of the war. There he is taunted by a trickster figure, the Heron, into entering the mysterious ruins of a tower and into a timeless underworld. Many have seen in this story something of Miyazaki's relationship with his own son, an indictment of someone disappointingly unable to take up his legacy. But aren't the film's conclusions rather an admission that things look very different from one's ivory tower, and that sons and daughters should be allowed to make their own way, according to their temperaments and priorities? As is the case with the best personal films, the audience sees what it wants to see.
7 months ago
Shidan's avatar


One of Miyazaki's best films (Top 3 probably) and in the top 10 of Studio Ghibli, a great way to close his career.
5 months 3 weeks ago
mcmakattack's avatar


If the visuals here weren't as superb as they are, I would have honestly been pretty disappointed. For especially the last act, the story felt too convoluted and without a strong narrative or thematic drive you would find in other Miyazaki films. The Boy and the Heron seemed almost like a rehashing of Ghibli highlights, and rather than being something of a swan song, it comes off as just less than (story-wise). (7/10)
7 months 1 week ago
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