The Boy and the Heron: Christian Bale, Florence Pugh, Robert Pattinson, and more announced for the English voice cast

The Boy and the Heron English voice cast includes Christian Bale, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Robert Pattinson, and more!

Last Updated on November 3, 2023

The Boy and the Heron, GKIDS, Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki, English voice cast

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of award-winning animation from around the globe, has announced the English voice cast for acclaimed Oscar-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s new feature, The Boy and the Heron. The epic fantasy adventure made its international premiere as part of the Opening Night Gala of the 48th Toronto International Film Festival. Tickets for screenings went faster than Haku the Dragon soared through the Spirit Realm sky. Studio Ghibli always brings outstanding actors to the stage to voice their enigmatic characters, and The Boy and the Heron is no exception.

Courtesy of GKIDS’ official press release for The Boy and the Heron:

The English language dubbed version of the film will feature the voices of Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari, Amsterdam, The Pale Blue Eye), Dave Bautista (Dune, Guardians of the Galaxy), Gemma Chan (The Creator, Eternals, Crazy Rich Asians), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate, The Florida Project), Karen Fukuhara (The Boys, Suicide Squad), Mark Hamill (The Machine, House of Usher), Robert Pattinson (The Batman, Tenet, upcoming Mickey 17), and Florence Pugh (Oppenheimer, Black Widow, Little Women). Luca Padovan joins the cast as Mahito Maki, and Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori, and Dan Stevens are featured as the Parakeets. GKIDS handled casting and produced the English version in close consultation with Studio Ghibli, with ADR direction by Michael Sinterniklaas at NYAV Post, and an English script adaptation by Stephanie Sheh. The English language dub was produced under the SAG-AFTRA Foreign Dubbing Agreement.

GKIDS will bring The Boy and the Heron to cinemas nationwide on December 8, 2023, in both the original Japanese and English language versions. The latest feature from Japan’s celebrated animation house, Studio Ghibli, begins special preview engagements on November 22 before expanding to cinemas nationwide and in Canada on December 8, 2023. 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.

The Boy and the Heron opened to record-breaking success in Japan. The hand-drawn, animated feature — director Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years — features a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi. In an extraordinary break with tradition, Studio Ghibli released the film in Japan without any promotion, marketing materials, or film description, allowing audiences to discover the film for themselves.

If mystery isn’t your jam, and you want to know what The Boy and the Heron is about, please read the following description:

Hayao Miyazak’s The Boy and the Heron revolves around a teenage boy’s psychological development through encounters with his friends and uncle. After finding an abandoned tower in his new town, the boy enters a magical world with a talking grey heron.

JoBlo’s Editor-in-Chief, Chris Bumbray, experienced The Boy and the Heron at TIFF earlier this year. In his review, he described Miyazaki’s latest animated feature as “good, old-fashioned storytelling that feels like a swan song for an old master.” Adding, “it feels like a potential best-animated film contender at the Oscars,” although he doubts Miyazaki cares about such accolades.

What do you think about the English voice cast for Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron? What is your favorite Studio Ghibli film? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Boy and the Heron, poster
Source: GKIDS

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.