The Boy And The Heron wins Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, beating Spider-Verse and Elemental

This marks the second win for director Hayao Miyazaki.

The Boy and the Heron
The Boy and the Heron /
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The Boy and the Heron has snagged the 2024 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, beating stiff competition including Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Nimona, Elemental, Wish, and Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. This marks the second Academy Award for director Hayao Miyazaki, and the first ever win for GKIDS.

Backstage after accepting the award, Executive Producer and Studio Ghibli COO, Kiyofumi Nakajima, read aloud the following statement on behalf of Oscar-winning producer Toshio Suzuki, provided to The Parent Watch:

“As producer of The Boy and the Heron, I am extremely honored to receive the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Academy. I would also like to give my thanks to those who were involved in the production of this film, and to all those who worked to distribute the film worldwide. This film began with director Hayao Miyazaki retracting his retirement statement. Following that, we spent seven years in the production of this work. It has been ten years since Hayao Miyazaki’s previous film, The Wind Rises, during which time there have been dramatic changes in the environment surrounding films. This film was truly difficult to bring to completion. I am very appreciative that the work that was created after overcoming these difficulties has been seen by so many people around the world, and that it has received this recognition. Both Hayao Miyazaki and I have aged a considerable amount. I am grateful to receive such an honor at my age, and taking this as a message to continue our work, I will devote myself to work harder in the future.

Thank you very much.”

The Boy and the Heron is one of the odder Miyazaki, and that’s saying something. It follows a boy who moves to his family’s house after the death of his mother – and then ends up ina  strange tower where the titular heron lives. They embark on a journey together, as Mahito (the boy) discovers secrets about his own life, and the truth about the world itself.

“This has been an incredible year for animation of all types, from all places,” said GKIDS CEO Eric Beckman and GKIDS President David Jesteadt about the Oscar win. “We are thankful to the Academy for recognizing this emotional masterwork from Hayao Miyazaki, and we are incredibly grateful to Studio Ghibli for their trust and friendship over the years. As longtime fans, it has been the honor of our lives to get to work with their films every day.”

The Boy and the Heron will be available to stream on Max this June.

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