Netflix Nabs Oscar-Winning Epic From Legendary Filmmaker

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Published

On Tuesday, March 19, 2024, Netflix made a groundbreaking deal to distribute The Boy and the Heron and several other Studio Ghibli films outside the United States. Hayao Miyazaki has become a household name for children and adults across the globe, so the opportunity to stream his films all in one place is welcome indeed. 

The Boy And The Heron

Slated to premier around the world later this year on Netflix, The Boy and the Heron was an exciting surprise for Studio Ghibli acolytes as it had been 10 years since Miyazaki had created a film. Indeed, he had announced his retirement in 2013. His latest creation is a semi-autobiographical fantasy in which a young boy named Mahito enters a world where the living and the dead share space after his mother dies in a Tokyo bombing.

In the beginning, Mahito rejects his stepmother, who is also his mother’s sister, but when she disappears, pregnant, Mahito chases after her and ends up learning valuable lessons about life and death and about coping with a world filled with conflict and loss. This storyline aligns well with the belief Miyazaki has always professed — that children have the ability to shape the world with their hands, changing it for the better. 

Hayao Miyazaki Is A Beloved Filmmaker

Long before The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki began creating animated films at an early age, working with renowned studios in his home country of Japan since 1963. With Toei Animation, Miyazaki provided essential animation to a number of films, including Doggie March, Puss in Boots, and Animal Treasure Island. The manga artist went on to work with other Japanese animation studios, gaining further recognition and developing his skill before finally founding Studio Ghibli in 1985 with partners Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki. 

Other Studio Ghibli Favorites Heading To Netflix International

Filmmakers, studios, directors, and actors around the world soon saw the power of Miyazaki’s work. Netflix is only the latest to publicly acknowledge Studio Ghibli’s brilliance with this deal that includes The Boy and the Heron. Among the other 22 films that will stream on the platform, fans can watch My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle, all of which have A-List actors voicing the characters in the English dubbed versions. 

Studio Ghibli Movies Streaming Right Now On Max

the boy and the heron

The Boy and the Heron has grossed over $150 million and earned the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Of course, Netflix jumped at the opportunity to stream The Boy and the Heron along with the other Studio Ghibli films for its global audiences. Sadly, it was too late to reach US viewers. Max beat Netflix to the punch on that one. 

Yes, if American lovers of Miyazaki’s animation want to catch Studio Ghibli films right now, they better be Max subscribers. Warner Bros. Discovery signed a deal for exclusive rights to stream the entire set of animated films back in 2019, clearly aware of their popularity among their HBO Max (now just Max) subscribers. Little did they know they’d be signing another, longer-term deal once the studio added yet another award winner to their already highly acclaimed cache. 

Hopefully, Hayeo Miyazaki Gives Us Another Masterpiece Soon

the boy and the heron

So, Netflix and Max will just have to share The Boy and the Heron, along with Miyazaki’s other creations. If you want to catch them inside the United States, the full set will be on Max for the foreseeable future. Outside the states, Netflix viewers can catch them there. We can all enjoy these films while we wait with bated breath to see what Hayao Miyazaki might do next.