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Christian Bale returns to Studio Ghibli in The Boy and the Heron

Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe, Florence Pugh, and more join the English dub

Two characters from Hayao Miyazaki’s last movie, The Boy and the Heron, sit across from each other glaring. One is a boy with a grey shirt on and the other a strange creature with pointed ears and a big nose wearing a bird suit Image: Studio Ghibli/GKIDS
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Miyazaki’s newest final filmThe Boy and the Heron — flies into theaters soon. It’ll be available in both subbed and dubbed form, and true to Ghibli form, the dubbed English cast looks majorly stacked.

Mahito Maki, the young boy at the center of the movie, is voiced by You’s Luca Padovan. Christian Bale (who voiced Howl in the English dub of Howl’s Moving Castle) voices Shoichi Maki, Mahito’s father; Gemma Chan (Eternals) voices Mahito’s aunt Natsuko; Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) plays the Parakeet King; Karen Fukuhara (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) is Lady Himi; Mark Hamill (Star Wars) is Granduncle; Willem Dafoe (Finding Nemo) is Noble Pelican; Robert Pattinson (Twilight) is the Gray Heron; and Florence Pugh (Midsommar) is Kiriko. Dan Stevens, Tony Revolori, and Mamoudou Athie also join as the Parakeets.

The Boy and the Heron was supposed to be Miyazaki’s last film — not to be confused with his previous final movies: The Wind Rises (2013), Spirited Away (2001), and Princess Mononoke (1997). However, the man just won’t quit and is supposedly at work on another film! The Boy and the Heron follows a young boy coping with his mother’s death. It’s inspired by one of Miyazaki’s favorite books, How Do You Live?, but is not directly based on it.

The Boy and the Heron will have a special advance preview on Nov. 22, and then will hit theaters in both English and Japanese on Dec. 8. Check out the new poster below.

A poster for The Boy and the Heron, featuring a boy’s profile as he looks backwards, feathers all around him. Image: GKIDS

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