The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

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The highly coveted Oscar trophies illuminate on the display ahead of the 96th Academy Awards. This year, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel reprised his role as host.
The 2024 Oscars: A Bold Year for Film
Anthony Parker, Entertainment & News Editor • March 28, 2024
In a surprising move to many, West Capitaneus, the school yearbook publication, will be discontinuing the popular, longstanding tradition of senior quotes. Citing logistical concerns, the West High administration has maintained this restriction, prompting petition by nearly a quarter of the student body.
Say Goodbye to Senior Quotes
Cyrilla Zhang, Editor-in-Chief • March 21, 2024
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Miyazaki’s New Movie, Marvelous or Maddening?

The+movie+stub+of+The+Boy+and+the+Heron.+Acclaimed+director+Hayao+Miyazaki+came+out+of+retirement+to+make+this+movie%2C+but+was+it+any+good%3F
Art/Photo by Christian Robledo
The movie stub of The Boy and the Heron. Acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki came out of retirement to make this movie, but was it any good?

Hayao Miyazaki is an acclaimed director for the Japanese film company Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli has made many great films that are arguably better than most Disney movies. In 2013, Miyazaki discussed his retirement plans after making the film The Wind Rises. However, he shocked everyone with the announcement of his newest film The Boy and the Heron. After watching his newest movie, some are confused and underwhelmed while others are excited and pleased. But why is that?

   First things first, Studio Ghibli movies have never followed the typical ways of telling stories that Western audiences may be accustomed to. For example, one of my favorite movies is Howl’s Moving Castle by Miyazaki. In the film, the story and plot can sometimes be confusing, but after multiple re-watches, one can finally get a sense of the world that is being created within the film. Many say this can also apply to The Boy and the Heron while others strongly disagree. 

   Similar to other Miyazaki movies, the movie’s story is set in a very fanciful world that can take some getting used to, but, thanks to the amazing animation style, that’s no rough barrier. Studio Ghibli specializes in creating fully realized 2-D worlds, and this movie is no exception. With a vibrant setting, beautiful characters, and unnerving monstrosities, this movie does not fail on a visual level. The same can be said about the audio and actors. Both the American and Japanese cast were highly praised for their performances in the film, lending itself to a world within the story that feels all the more real. 

   Admittedly, the story in this movie was harder to follow in this movie than in other popular Studio Ghibli movies I’ve seen. The story had a clear exposition, but the conclusion (while beautiful) left me with questions about the overarching objectives of the movie. Another interesting perspective was from “danielatala8” who is a movie reviewer for the online website IMDB. She said, “It all feels very haphazard and messy. The Heron is a fun character but I don’t feel like he or [the main character] Mahito do or learn anything from these adventures.” This review unveiled something that didn’t even cross my mind; hearing it now, it’s a perspective that resonates. While I love Miyazaki’s characters, I found that I was much more enamored by the world itself. 

   Needless to say, I definitely suggest that people go out and watch this movie — if not for the story then for the art and world that the movie showcases. While it may seem confusing at first, a few more re-watches just might make it click. After all, The Boy and the Heron received a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, an amazing rating despite some popular criticism. All in all, it was worth the watch, entertaining me for the entirety of its two-hour and four-minute runtime; it may suit you if you’re one that appreciates Studio Ghibli movies, 2-D animation, and the whimsical music of Joe Hisaishi. 

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About the Contributor
Christian Robledo, Staff Writer
Christian Robledo is a junior at West High and is super excited for his first year on the West Signals team. Christian loves to write and believes his energetic personality can make almost any interview a fun one. This year he aspires to create great articles that will entertain the masses though when he’s not on the clock, Christian enjoys the performing arts and talking with friends.