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Toshio Suzuki Sheds Light On The Boy And The Heron’s Non-Promotional Approach




During a press conference conducted following The Boy And The Heron’s big win at the Oscars, Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli president, shed light on the unconventional marketing strategy adopted for the film.

In his address, Suzuki provided insight into the decision to not promote the film, attributing it to Miyazaki’s desire for a quiet release. Suzuki stated, “Hayao Miyazaki has dedicated his life to Studio Ghibli. It was his wish to release his last film quietly, without much fanfare.

While acknowledging the challenges posed by the lack of publicity, Suzuki remained steadfast in his support for Miyazaki’s creative integrity.

It was a nuisance for the people involved, but I certainly thought that Miyazaki’s hard work would gain their understanding. I didn’t want to put him in an environment where he had to do a lot of publicity,” he expressed.

Suzuki acknowledged that their intention was simply to adhere to what was normal for them. He explained how this approach unintentionally transformed into a promotional strategy in itself called “no promotion,” with even Miyazaki questioning their lack of promotional efforts at times.

He then went on to admit that they had come to terms with the possibility that if the film failed to perform well due to the absence of promotion, there would be little they could do. However, looking back, Suzuki felt that the approach won’t fail.

We believed that we wouldn’t be punished for creating what we wanted,” he added.

The Boy And The Heron (called How Do You Live), released in Japan on July 14, 2023. It became the first ever Studio Ghibli film to get simultaneous IMAX release. It also became the first-ever animated film as well as Japanese film to open the 48th Toronto International Film Festival.

Joe Hisashi composed music for the anime film. The film features 37 soundtracks including the theme song. Kenshi Yonezu performed the film’s theme song, “Chikyuugi”.

The plot of the film is described as:

The plot of the film is set during World War II. Mahito Maki, the protagonist, is a young boy who tragically lost his mother in a hospital fire. When his father remarries, they move from Tokyo to a countryside mansion. This mansion happens to be his mother’s ancestral home, and his father’s new wife is his mother’s sister. With complex emotions, Masato is guided by a mysterious gray heron and finds himself stepping into a different world.

How Do You Live? is inspired by the 1937 novel of the same name by Yoshino Genzaburo. He added that this book is a story that has great meaning to the protagonist of his film.

Source: Oricon

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