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critics consensus

The Boy and the Beast combines familiar parts to create a gripping, beautifully animated adventure with inventive storytelling to match its visual appeal. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Kyuta slips into an alternate universe where he is raised by a bear-man, Kumatetsu. Kyuta is eventually thrust into an adventure which spans both worlds.

Cast & Crew

Kumiko Aso
Kyuta's Mother
Voice
Rirî Furankî
Monk Momoaki
Voice
Suzu Hirose
Kaede
Voice
Haru Kuroki
Young Ichirohiko
Voice
Mamoru Miyano
Ichirohiko
Voice
Aoi Miyazaki
Young Kyuta
Voice
Keishi Nagatsuka
Kyuta's Father
Voice
Mamoru Hosoda
Screenwriter
Atsushi Chiba
Producer
Daisuke Kadoya
Producer
Daisuke Kadoya
Executive Producer
Masakatsu Takagi
Original Music
Satoshi Masuda
Casting
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News & Interviews for The Boy and the Beast

Critic Reviews for The Boy and the Beast

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (61) | Rotten (8)

  • [Its] familiar beats cunningly coalesce into an elaborate plot, set to Takagi Masakatsu's bustling score.

    August 15, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The soundscape is rich, and the beast-battles well executed. But the characters never develop beyond their two-word descriptors: Conflicted Boy, Lonely Girl, Angry Son, etc.

    May 27, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The whole thing displays that combination of visual flair and wildly inventive storytelling that distinguishes Japanese animation from the rest of the field.

    March 10, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Questions may linger about what's real and what's projected from Ren's turbulent feelings, but the film creates such vivid worlds on both sides of the alley, you'll root for their coexistence.

    March 10, 2016 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • The Boy and the Beast continues to solidify Mamoru Hosoda's reputation, and serves as a heartfelt, satisfying reminder that Japanese animation has a bright future.

    March 5, 2016 | Rating: A | Full Review…
  • The animation is gorgeous: graphically rich in background and character design, with that very Japanese awareness of the transitory forms of nature. The storytelling is beyond uneven, but that's not unusual.

    March 4, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Boy and the Beast

  • Feb 18, 2017
    When Studio Ghibli slowed down production, many people went into a frenzy, including myself. Yes, there are other production companies who make great anime films, but none have really been able to accomplish the amazing work done by that studio. Well, I have just swallowed every single one of those words after watching The Boy and the Beast. Not only is this on the same level, but it's even better than some of their work. While this review will not be a comparison in any way, I found myself pleasantly surprised at how incredibly played-out this story is. Available on #Netflix and Blu-Ray/DVD, here are a few reasons why this film should be demands some attention. With a very Star Wars-esque feel to it, this film follows a young boy who has run away from his home life. Stumbling across another world just outside his door, where beasts fight each other in combat, he is raised by one and trained until he reaches adulthood, when he returns back home to face reality. With some very spiritual elements sprinkled throughout and a climax that may just bring a few tears to your eyes, The Boy and the Beast is a great film in every conceivable way. Never once did I roll my eyes at the theatrics, due to the fact that everything is taken as seriously as it should be, adding levity when needed, and making you truly believe that this other world exists. If I had a few minor complaints about this film, it would be the fact that the core villain that slowly arises throughout the film is about as generic as you can get. Solely due to the fact that he was raised by a bad man, the villain is the son of a lethal fighter. Hellbent on helping him, his powers make his plans much easier to execute. Everything is resolved very nicely in the final act, so most of this can be forgiven, but I didn't find myself particularly attached to the villain until the final moments of the film, which was a little too late for me. Having said that, the rest of the film is near-perfect and is able to deliver many messages along the way. Although told through animation, the banter between the two main characters is what really sold this film. By the end, if you haven't bought into their relationship with one another, you probably won't feel much impact when the climax occurs. For myself, this was the biggest plus for the film and the fact that it continued to serve a bigger purpose for the story as a whole when it moved along, made it simply a terrific experience. The running time also worried me, as an animated film is rarely over 90-100 minutes, but clocking in at exactly two hours, just about every minute was used to easier dazzle the viewers with visuals or move the story forward in a comedic or dramatic way. The Boy and the Beast is just a fantastic story, there is no denying that. From beginning to end, this film is all about telling a compelling story. Sure, there are some awesome action sequences and great characters throughout, but this story is really something to admire. Pretty much taking a direct page from Joseph Campbell's A Hero's Journey, The Boy and the Beast knows exactly what it wants to be and accomplishes it in spades. This is easily one of the best animated films that was released in 2016. Technically it's a 2015 release, but the U.S. release was 2016, which is what qualified it for awards consideration this year. Regardless, this film is everything I hoped it would be and more. There are a few minor hiccups in the middle when developing the villain, but this is an otherwise perfectly told film. I loved nearly every second of it.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Mar 21, 2016
    Mamoru Hosada's latest effort proves himself once again to be one of the most brightest and innovative storytellers working in animation in this day and age. Much like his three previous films, 'The Boy and the Beast' is a uniquely lavish visual composition. Adhering more towards the fantasy genre and conventions, The film follows a very relatable story of a young boy torn from his real world reality and being drawn into a parallel universe dominated by bipedal anthropomorphic talking animals taking on a very exotic period and mystical existence co-existing with ours. We follow the story of the young would be hero; Ren, who upon being taught by a beast-like warrior, eventually adapts to his lifestyle and philosophical understandings and overcomes his own fears and instincts, yet it's his previous connection to our world that draws him near to a more normal way of life. Though it's a very character driven story, it's really the 'coming of age' moral hardships and the film's visual grandeur that really makes this cinematic 'Anime' outing distinct from all other if not all of Mamoru's work. It's highly recommended to seek out for one's own viewing as it's easily one of the most touching and coolest looking anime films of recent years.
    Luke E Super Reviewer

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