‘The Boy and the Heron’ Secures Best Animated Feature Film Oscar

Published March 11, 2024

Legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has garnered his second Academy Award with the animated feature 'The Boy and the Heron,' a story woven with fantastical elements and the heartfelt journey of a boy in post-war Japan. This victory at the Oscars underscores Miyazaki's continued influence in the realm of animation, reinforcing the creator's distinguished reputation.

An Award-Winning Tale of Magic and Grief

Enveloped in the theme of loss, 'The Boy and the Heron' introduces audiences to 12-year-old Mahito Maki, who endures the tragedy of his mother's death in wartime Tokyo. As he moves to a rural estate with his new family, Maki encounters a mystical grey heron that becomes a guide to a hidden tower and a spectrum of extraordinary creatures that aid him in navigating his grief.

Miyazaki's Legacy and Studio Ghibli's Transition

At the age of 83, Miyazaki, a luminary of animation, leaves a legacy dotted with globally acclaimed films through Studio Ghibli, which he helped establish. His return from retirement to create 'The Boy and the Heron' is a testament to his enduring passion. Interestingly, Miyazaki's revival came as Studio Ghibli transitioned ownership to Nippon TV after the challenge of finding a successor became apparent.

The film has not only been recognized with an Oscar but also received a Golden Globe and BAFTA, with audiences and critics alike praising its compelling narrative. Moreover, its impressive commercial success, topping the North American box office with earnings of $13 million, affirmed its widespread appeal.

The producer, Toshio Suzuki, expressed profound gratitude for the honor at the Oscars ceremony, viewing it as an encouragement for continued artistic efforts. This cinematic milestone follows in the footsteps of Miyazaki’s previous Oscar triumph for his film 'Spirited Away' in 2003.

Oscar, Animation, Miyazaki