The Boy and the Heron has been playing in Prague over the past month in Czech-dubbed and Czech-subtitled versions, but English-speaking audiences may not have had a chance to catch up with the latest film from Japan’s Studio Ghibli.
Until now: Aerofilms has just announced that English-subtitled screenings of The Boy and the Heron are coming to Prague’s Kino Světozor in the coming weeks, with the first to occur on Sunday, January 28 as part of the cinema’s English-friendly “Catch-Up” series.
A subsequent English-subtitled screening is scheduled for Tuesday, January 30, with further shows TBA. Check the website of Kino Světozor for additional English-friendly screenings.
The English-friendly screenings of The Boy and the Heron at Kino Světozor in Prague will be presented in its original Japanese with English subtitles. No word yet on whether the well-received English-dubbed version of the film, featuring the voices of Christian Bale, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Mark Hamill, and others, might make it to the Czech capital.
The Boy and the Heron is the latest feature from acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke), and comes 10 years after the director announced his retirement in 2013 following the release of The Wind Rises. According to the latest reports from Ghibli, studio heads still haven’t been able to keep the 83-year-old Miyazaki out of the office.
Widely acclaimed worldwide and expected to earn Academy Award nominations next week after taking home a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, The Boy and the Heron is set during WWII and follows a young boy who discovers a fantastical world with a talking grey heron following the death of his mother.
The film’s story was largely based on Miyazaki’s own childhood experiences, and explores familiar Studio Ghibli themes including coming of age in a landscape beset by war and death. Acclaimed Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi wrote the film’s score, which also received a Golden Globe nomination.
Miyazaki began work on The Boy and the Heron in 2016 and originally targeted a 2020 release to coincide with the Toyko Olympics. Production faced numerous delays, however, and was also complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. After seven years of development, the film is reportedly the most expensive ever made in Japan.
The Boy and the Heron was released in Japanese cinemas with minimal publicity in July, including no trailer or even images beyond a single poster. It has since become a global hit, earning more than $150 million (3.4 billion crowns) at the worldwide box office as of mid-January.
Kino Světozor regularly screens foreign-language films with English subtitles through its Catch-Up series, and will also host a screening of the Prague-shot The Promised Land, starring Mads Mikkelsen, next Tuesday, January 23.