In celebration of the Academy Award win for Best Animated Feature for Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s latest feature, THE BOY AND THE HERON, GKIDS, the North American distributor for the Studio Ghibli library of films, is proud to bring the critically acclaimed and award winning feature back into theaters nationwide, beginning March 22nd. Bring back screenings will include exclusive bonus content featuring an introduction from the film’s composer Joe Hisaishi, who received a Golden Globe nod for his work on the film, and a recorded drawing session with supervising animator Takeshi Honda, who was honored at this year’s Annie Awards with a win for Best Character Animation. Bring back screenings will be in both the original Japanese language, as well as the English-language version, which features the voices of Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson and Florence Pugh.

The weekend’s achievement at the Academy Awards marked a second Oscar for legendary director Hayao Miyazaki, who earned four previous nominations and won his first Oscar for Spirited Away (released in 2002). He was also recognized at the 2014 Governors Awards with the Academy’s Honorary Award for his exceptional contributions to cinema. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and THE BOY AND THE HERON are the only two hand-drawn films to win in the history of this category, which was established by the Academy in 2002. It was additionally the first Oscar win for producer Toshio Suzuki, who previously earned three nominations. The win continued Studio Ghibli’s extraordinary Oscar run, which includes 7 total nominations, with 2 wins. The win also marked the first as a company for GKIDS after 13 nominations in the Best Animated Feature category.

THE BOY AND THE HERON is GKIDS’ highest-grossing release of its 16-year history and Studio Ghibli’s highest-grossing film in North America. To date, it has earned over $46 million at the North American box office, also hitting the milestone of highest-grossing original Japanese animated film of all time, domestically.

GKIDS released THE BOY AND THE HERON in cinemas and IMAX nationwide on December 8, 2023, marking the first title in the Studio Ghibli catalog to be released in IMAX premium formats and opening at No. 1. The film was released in the U.S. in its original Japanese with English subtitles, as well as in a new English-language version featuring the voices of Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson and Florence Pugh.

THE BOY AND THE HERON made its international premiere at the Opening Night Gala of the 48th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Tickets to all five TIFF screenings sold out in record time and the film received glowing reviews, placing in the top three for the TIFF People’s Choice Awards. For Best Animated Feature, THE BOY AND THE HERON has won the BAFTA Award, the Golden Globe and several prestigious critics awards including the New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association honors. It was also recognized by the National Board of Review as a Top Film for 2023 and won two Annie Awards in 2024. In addition, THE BOY AND THE HERON Composer Joe Hisaishi garnered Best Score nominations from the Golden Globes and the Society of Composers and Lyricists, and was celebrated at this year’s Annie Awards with the Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award.

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.

Founded in 2008, GKIDS is the Academy Award®-winning producer and distributor of artist-driven and Academy Award-winning animation from around the world. The company handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with the titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others, as well as the critically acclaimed television series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. GKIDS is also the founder and host of Animation Is Film, the annual LA-based film festival which embraces animation as a cinematic art form and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions.


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