Robert Pattinson’s character sounds set to steal the show.

Near-simultaneous releases have become the norm for anime TV series, but overseas fans still have to be patient when it comes to theatrical animated features from Japan. That’s especially true when it comes to Studio Ghibli movies, as the animation house itself and its licensors tend to want the utmost polish on what are the anime industry’s highest-profile prestige releases.

So while The Boy and the Heron (or How Do You Live, as its Japanese-language title translates to), the latest movie from director Hayao Miyazaki, debuted in Japanese theaters in mid-summer, its overseas screenings have been limited to film festivals. That’ll be changing next month, though, when The Boy and the Heron finally opens in theaters in the U.S., and to help ramp up the excitement even more, there’s now an English-dubbed trailer, which also shows off some new clips from the anime that haven’t been seen outside screenings until now.

As we talked about when it was first announced, the English dub cast for The Boy and the Heron is especially star-studded, with multiple Hollywood A-listers joining up for what may end up as Miyazaki’s last anime. That’s Mark Hamil saying “So, you made it. Have a seat,” early in the trailer, giving a touch of rumble to his performance as the character Granduncle, Dave Bautista declaring “We must protect this world ourselves,” as the Parakeet King, and, very briefly, Christian Bale shouting the name of protagonist Mahito as his father, Shoichi, swings a sword at a flock of birds.

▼ “Is The Boy and the Heron Miyazaki’s best movie ever?” is a debate we’re probably going to be hearing a lot in the months ahead, but there’s absolutely no debating that it’s his most bird-filled one.

The most striking performance in the trailer, though, is Robert Pattinson’s voice for Gray Heron. It’s the complete opposite from the somber and/or suave characters the the 37-year-old Twilight star is best known for, and it almost sounds like the Gray Heron is choking on the words he’s saying, something that’s entirely appropriate given his eventually revealed identity. Gray Heron’s Japanese voice actor, Masaki Suda, steals almost every scene the character appears in, and it looks like Pattinson may end up doing the same.

In addition, the video also gives us our first listens to Luca Padovan as Mahito, Gemma Chan as his aunt Natsuko, Florence Pugh as the adventurous, bandana-wearing Kiriko, and Karen Fukuhara as the literally fiery Lady Himi. We also get our first audio preview for the group of elderly women who work as housekeepers at Natsuko’s traditional Japanese mansion, though it looks like we’ll have to wait until a second dub trailer, or the theatrical release itself, to hear Willem Dafoe as Noble Pelican.

Distributor GKIDS Films will be holding special preview screenings in Los Angeles and New York City on November 22, with The Boy and the Heron’s general release, in both subtitled and dubbed formats, on December 8.

Source: YouTube/GKIDS Films via Anime News Network/Alex Mateo
Images: Studio Ghibli
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