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I couldn’t miss the chance of a new Miyazaki film; the famed writer and director is now in his eighties and keeps coming out of retirement, which is good news from all lovers of Japanese Studio Ghibli animé, with ‘Spirited Away’ in 2001 and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ in 2004 setting industry standards. “The Boy and the Heron” is a long film, around two hours. It starts well and ends magnificently, but perhaps gets a little lost in betweentimes. As usual there are important themes running through it, World War II being an obvious one, and the animation of a little boy Mahito, who lost his mother when a hospital is bombed, running up and down the stairs is in a panic is brilliant. His father has taken a new wife, and he starts a new life in the countryside outside Tokyo, but things are not quite as they seem as he is drawn into a new world of mystery and imagination, which not only contains a heron/human, but also giant pelicans and parakeets, as well as a human fireball and a paradoxical tower.

Judging by the numbers in the DCA cinema, it is going to be a great success at the box office, deservedly so.


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