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How to Watch ‘The Boy and the Heron’: Is the Miyazaki Movie Streaming?

Iconic Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki emerged from his self-announced retirement, which began a few years after he made “The Wind Rises” (2013), to tell the autobiographical story of “The Boy and the Heron.” Studio Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki had to reassemble the staff of the production company to complete the task, and the hard work was recognized with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in March 2024.

The 2023 film added another Oscar to the animation director’s accolades after “Spirited Away” won the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2011. The Academy Award win will send the film back into theaters for a limited time, and fresh off the win at the beginning of March, the film set two different streaming homes depending on where you live.

Those wondering how to watch “The Boy and the Heron” in the meantime can read on for details:

When did “The Boy and the Heron” come out?

Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years after 2013’s “The Wind Rises” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2023. It opened in theaters in the U.S. on Dec. 8.

Is “The Boy and the Heron” in theaters?

“The Boy and the Heron” will be back in theaters starting March 22, with a choice between Japanese screenings with English subtitles or an English dub. The second theatrical run will also feature exclusive bonus content that delves deeper into the creation and production of the story.

Get tickets here.

Is “The Boy and the Heron” streaming?

Not yet. The film will be streaming exclusively on Max in the United States, and will be streaming on Netflix around the world. The streaming release dates have not yet been announced.

What is “The Boy and the Heron” about?

The film is based on Miyazaki’s childhood as well as events from a novel that Miyazaki got from his mother, “How Do You Live?” by Genzaburo Yoshino. Protagonist Mahito (Soma Santoki) is 11 years old and living in Japan during World War II. He lost his mother in a hospital fire in Tokyo during the war, and then he goes to the countryside with his father Shoichi, an air munitions factory owner. There, he moves into the Gray Heron Mansion when his father marries his mother’s sister Natsuko in a customary sororate union, and he meets a mysterious heron that can transport him into an in-between realm where time and space turn upside down. Mahito ultimately has to decide whether to stay in the alternate dimension or return to reality.

Who is in “The Boy and the Heron” cast?

The English voice cast includes Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson, and Florence Pugh. Additional cast members include Luca Padovan, Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori, and Dan Stevens.

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