The Boy and the Heron

The Boy and the Heron is a 2023 Japanese animated fantasy movie created by Hayao Miyazaki. Made by Studio Ghibli, the film’s title in Japanese is inspired by Genzaburō Yoshino’s 1937 novel of the same name, although it is not an adaptation of it. The Japanese voice actors include Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki, Aimyon, Yoshino Kimura, Takuya Kimura, Kaoru Kobayashi, and Shinobu Otake. Described as a “large, fantastical film,” it tells the story of Mahito Maki, a boy who relocates to the countryside following his mother’s passing. There, he stumbles upon an abandoned tower near his new house and enters a magical realm with a talking grey heron.

The Boy and the Heron English Dubbed Trailer

On Thursday, March 14, 2024, GKIDS and TOHO revealed that the English dubbed edition of The Boy and the Heron will debut in North American cinemas and Japanese theaters in late March. The movie is set to reappear in North American theaters on Friday, March 22, 2024, and the English dub will be shown in Japanese theaters on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

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In North America, “The Boy and the Heron” will be shown in its original Japanese language with English subtitles as well as in an English dubbed version. However, in Japanese theaters, only The Boy and the Heron English dubbed version with Japanese subtitles will be screened, according to the information available at the time this article was written.

The Boy and the Heron, the newest film from Studio Ghibli and the highly praised director Hayao Miyazaki, was initially intended to be Miyazaki’s final film before he retired. This film has achieved remarkable success, both in terms of box office earnings and critical acclaim. Its most notable achievement was winning the Best Animated Feature Film award at the 96th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 10.

The Boy and the Heron is Miyazaki’s second movie to win the Best Animated Feature Film award at the Oscars, following Spirited Away in 2003. Howl’s Moving Castle and The Wind Rises were also nominated in the same category in different years but did not win.
The movie also achieved recognition as the Animated of the Year at the 47th annual Japan Academy Film Prizes and triumphed in the Best Motion Picture – Animated category at the 81st Golden Globes Awards. Additionally, it garnered accolades from the Annie Awards for its story boarding and character animation, as well as from the British Academy Film Awards for its animated film category. Moreover, the film received various honorary awards alongside these specific victories.

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The movie premiered in Japan in July 2023, making around $13.2 million USD from 1.003 million tickets in its initial three days in cinemas. These figures rose to about 2.3 million and 0.35 million respectively when considering the Friday-Monday long weekend on which the film debuted. July 17, 2023, was the Marine Day holiday in Japan.

The movie ranks as the 71st highest-grossing film in Japan and the third highest-grossing domestic film in Japan for 2023, earning 8.66 billion yen (approximately $61.4 million USD). It debuted at #1 in the United States box office, making $12,836,313 USD in its opening weekend, and is noted as the first original anime production to achieve this feat. It will be available exclusively on HBO’s Max platform for streaming.

Following the film’s premiere, there was a temporary shortage of the novel How Do You Live? due to its connection with the film. The publisher decided to reprint the book, and it was widely available on the Mercari marketplace app. On July 20, Iwanami Shoten announced on its official Twitter account that the book had reached a total circulation of 1.8 million copies, making it the best-selling book ever published by Iwanami Bunko. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Gavin J Blair, The Boy and the Heron has played a significant role in the recent resurgence of Japanese popular culture in the West, alongside other works like Godzilla Minus One (2023), the first season of One Piece (2023), and the miniseries Shōgun (2024).

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