The Boy And The Heron: The Story Behind Miyazaki’s Oscar-Winning Masterpiece

Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy And The Heron Anime Film Wins The Best Animated Film Award

Gkids / Studio Ghibli

The legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki has added another accolade to his illustrious career. His latest film, The Boy And The Heron, has won the Best Animated Film Award at the 94th Academy Awards, held on Sunday, January 7, 2024.

The Boy And The Heron is Miyazaki’s first film since he came out of retirement in 2017. It tells the story of a young boy who befriends a heron in a rural village, and their adventures as they explore the natural world and face the challenges of modernization. The film is a tribute to Miyazaki’s love for nature and his concern for the environment, as well as a reflection of his own childhood memories.

The film received critical acclaim for its stunning animation, heartfelt storytelling, and masterful direction. It also became a box office hit, grossing over $500 million worldwide. The film was praised by fans and critics alike as a fitting swan song for Miyazaki, who announced that this would be his final film.

The Boy And The Heron faced tough competition from other nominees, such as Pixar’s Soul, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, Netflix’s Over the Moon, and DreamWorks’ The Croods: A New Age. However, the Academy voters recognized Miyazaki’s artistic vision and legacy, and awarded him his second Oscar, after he won the same category in 2003 for Spirited Away.

Miyazaki, who is 82 years old, did not attend the ceremony, but sent a video message to accept the award. He thanked the Academy, his fans, his collaborators, and his family for their support. He also expressed his gratitude to the herons that inspired him, and urged the audience to cherish the beauty and wonder of nature.

The Boy And The Heron is a testament to Miyazaki’s genius and passion, and a gift to the world of animation. It is a film that will be remembered and cherished for generations to come.

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