The Boy and the Heron Wins Oscar for Best Animated Feature


At the 96th Academy Awards ceremony, Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s film The Boy and the Heron secured the Best Animated Feature Film accolade from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The competition in this category included Elemental, Nimona, Robot Dreams, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Although Miyazaki and producer Toshio Suzuki couldn’t attend the event, this marks Miyazaki’s second win following Spirited Away in 2003, with prior nominations for Howl’s Moving Castle and The Wind Rises.

Studio Ghibli Vice-President Kiyofumi Nakajima conveyed their gratitude in a speech posted by the academy. The film’s triumph marks a significant milestone as the first PG-13 rated film in the United States to clinch the Best Animated Feature Film award, and the first victory in this category for a GKIDS distributed film after 14 nominations. Additionally, Miyazaki was honored with an Honorary Award at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards in 2014.

Interestingly, no anime films received nominations at the previous year’s 95th Academy Awards. However, notable contenders included Masaaki Yuasa and Science SARU’s INU-OH, Hiroyasu Ishida and Studio Colorido’s Drifting Home, and Atsuko Ishizuka and Madhouse’s Goodbye, Don Glees! The Boy and the Heron also received acclaim in Japan, winning Animation of the Year at the 47th annual Japan Academy Film Prizes and securing the Best Motion Picture – Animated category at the 81st Golden Globes Awards. Furthermore, it earned recognition from the Annie Awards

The Boy and the Heron also received acclaim in Japan, winning Animation of the Year at the 47th annual Japan Academy Film Prizes and securing the Best Motion Picture – Animated category at the 81st Golden Globes Awards. Furthermore, it earned recognition from the Annie Awards for storyboarding and character animation, and from the British Academy Film Awards for Best Animated Film. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists awarded it the Best Animated Film in its EDA Awards on December 31, and it was announced ahead of the 78th Mainichi Film Awards ceremony that the film would receive the Noburou Oofuji Award, which celebrates animated works for their innovative creative expressions.

GKIDS describes the film as follows:

After losing his mother during the war, young Mahito moves to his family’s estate in the countryside. There, a series of mysterious events lead him to a secluded and ancient tower, home to a mischievous gray heron. When Mahito’s new stepmother disappears, he follows the gray heron into the tower, and enters a fantastic world shared by the living and the dead. As he embarks on an epic journey with the heron as his guide, Mahito must uncover the secrets of this world, and the truth about himself.

Source: Oscars


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