Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy And The Heron Wins New York Film Critics Award For Best Animated Film


The official website of New York Film Critics’ Circle (NYFCC) unveiled the winners of their 89th annual awards on Nov 30, 2023, and according to the results Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, The Boy And The Heron, won the award for Best Animated Film.

The Boy and the Heron English Dub

The Boy And The Heron wasn’t the only anime film nominated in the category this year, as it also included Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume.

Other nominees under Best Animated Film category included:

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • Robot Dreams
  • Elemental

The New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) is an American film critic organization founded in 1935 by Wanda Hale from the New York Daily News. Its membership includes over 30 film critics from New York–based daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, and online publications.

In December of each year, the organization meets to vote on the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, given annually to honor excellence in cinema worldwide of the calendar year.

The Boy And The Heron is set to grace the North American theatres on Dec 8, 2023. The film is also getting an IMAX release at the same time.

The Boy And The Heron (How Do You Live?), released in Japan on July 14, 2023. It became the first ever Studio Ghibli film to get simultaneous IMAX release. In its initial three days of release in Japan, the film sold about 1.003 million tickets, generating approximately US$13.2 million in revenue.

It was also the first-ever animated film as well as Japanese film to open the 48th Toronto International Film Festival.

Joe Hisashi composed music for the anime film. The film features 37 soundtracks including the theme song. Kenshi Yonezu performed the film’s theme song, “Chikyuugi”.

The plot of the film is described as:

The plot of the film is set during World War II. Mahito Maki, the protagonist, is a young boy who tragically lost his mother in a hospital fire. When his father remarries, they move from Tokyo to a countryside mansion. This mansion happens to be his mother’s ancestral home, and his father’s new wife is his mother’s sister. With complex emotions, Masato is guided by a mysterious gray heron and finds himself stepping into a different world.

How Do You Live? is inspired by the 1937 novel of the same name by Yoshino Genzaburo. He added that this book is a story that has great meaning to the protagonist of his film.

In October 2017, Studio Ghibli announced the film would be titled “How Do You Live?. Studio executive, Toshio Suzuki said that Miyazaki is working on the film for his grandson as his way of saying, “Grandpa is moving onto the next world soon but he is leaving behind this film”.

In December 2020, Suzuki stated that the film was in work with no deadlines, similar to The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013), which took eight years to make.

He said that the animation was half-finished with production running faster, due to COVID-19 restrictions requiring them to work at home, and the film will be 125 minutes long.

Source: Official Website, Variety

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