GKIDS has announced the English voice cast for acclaimed Oscar-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s first feature in a decade, The Boy and the Heron. The English language dubbed version of the film will feature the voices of Christian Bale (Shoichi Maki), Dave Bautista (The Parakeet King), Gemma Chan (Natsuko), Willem Dafoe (Noble Pelican), Karen Fukuhara (Lady Himi), Mark Hamill (Granduncle), Robert Pattinson (The Gray Heron), and Florence Pugh (Kiriko). Luca Padovan also joins the cast as Mahito Maki, and Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori, and Dan Stevens are featured as the Parakeets.
The Boy and the Heron made its international premiere as Opening Night Gala of the 48th Toronto International Film Festival on September 7. Tickets to all five TIFF screenings sold out in record time, and the film received glowing reviews and placed top three for the TIFF People’s Choice Awards. The film made its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival, its European Premiere as the Opening Night of San Sebastian International Film Festival, and made its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. The film will be presented in IMAX at LA’s TCL Chinese Theater on October 18 as Opening Night of the Animation is Film Festival.
GKIDS and Studio Ghibli will bring The Boy and the Heron to special preview engagements on November 22 before expanding to cinemas nationwide and in Canada on December 8, 2023 in both the original Japanese and English language versions. The hand-drawn, animated feature – director Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years – is an original story written and directed by Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, produced by Academy Award-nominee and co-founder Toshio Suzuki, and featuring a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi. Its theme song, “Spinning Globe,” was written and performed by global J-pop superstar Kenshi Yonezu.
Studio Ghibli remains one of the most acclaimed and influential animation studios in the world and under animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and producer Toshio Suzuki, the studio is known for timeless classics such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Ponyo; and have won countless international awards including an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Spirited Away, as well as five additional Oscar nominations for Howl’s Moving Castle, The Wind Rises, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There, and The Red Turtle. Director and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki was separately given an Honorary Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards in 2014, and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures paid tribute to his artwork with a special exhibit when the Museum opened in September 2021.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary, GKIDS is the producer and distributor of films that have scored 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the Worldand When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021. GKIDS handles North American distribution for Studio Ghibli’s library of films and is the founder and host of ANIMATION IS FILM, the annual LA-based film festival which embraces animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions.
GKIDS handled casting and produced the English version in close consultation with Studio Ghibli, with ADR direction by Michael Sinterniklaas at NYAV Post, and English script adaptation by Stephanie Sheh. The English language dub was produced in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Foreign Dubbing Agreement.
See the official poster for the English-language version below.