Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Boy and the Heron’ is heading to Netflix
(Credits: Toho)

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Hayao Miyazaki's 'The Boy and the Heron' is heading to Netflix

As one of modern animation’s most towering figures, Hayao Miyazaki‘s retirement from filmmaking was a sore one to take for fans of the maestro’s work, at least until he reneged on his decision and returned in spectacular style with The Boy and the Heron.

His first feature in a decade, Miyazaki wrote and directed the fantasy fable and proved that he hadn’t lost so much as a single step in the process. The story follows 12-year-old Mahito, who struggles to adjust to his new surroundings after moving to another town following the death of his mother.

However, when the titular talking Heron informs him that she’s still alive, Mahito ventures to a foreboding abandoned tower in the hopes of being reunited, only to be transported to a fantastical world where nothing is quite as it seems.

In typical Miyazaki fashion, The Boy and the Heron is beautiful to look at, thematically resonant, thought-provoking, and tear-jerking, and trades in the universal themes of love, loss, grief, and conflict. Having torn a path through awards season and cleaned up at virtually every major ceremony, at-home audiences have been patiently biding their time waiting to discover when and where it’ll be available to stream.

Although Max secured a deal to air The Boy and the Heron in the United States, Netflix subscribers everywhere outside of America, Canada, and Japan will have the opportunity to catch the Academy Award-winning film later this year when it premieres on the platform.

No locked-in release date has been announced as of yet, but as well as The Boy and the Heron, a further 22 animated favourites are also coming to Netflix, including Miyazaki’s own My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, all of which will be dubbed in 20 languages and subtitled in 28.

Even though it’s already earned almost $170million at the global box office, the recipient of the Oscar, Golden Globe, and Bafta for ‘Best Animated Feature’ will be a must-see for many Netflix users all over the globe, whether or not they’re overly-familiar with Miyazaki’s work.

Not just one of the finest animated movies of the modern era, The Boy and the Heron signals the return of an all-time great to their medium of choice after a lengthy absence from cinema, with Netflix stealing a march on the competition by securing the rights to almost two dozen films in total to continue expanding its catalogue of classics.