THE BOY AND THE HERON Will Stream Globally on Netflix

Oscar-winning movie The Boy and the Heron will stream on Netflix around the world. Netflix will become the home of the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning The Boy and the Heron, thanks to an extended partnership between Netflix, Goodfellas, and GKIDS.
The Boy and the Heron Netflix

Oscar-winning movie The Boy and the Heron will stream on Netflix around the world. Netflix will become the home of the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning The Boy and the Heron, thanks to an extended partnership between Netflix, Goodfellas, and GKIDS.

RELATED: THE BOY AND THE HERON: Best Animated Feature Winner Returns to Theaters This Month

It should be noted that this is for the global streaming release and not the US. The Boy and the Heron will stream in the US later on Max. It’s US streaming release has not yet been announced. Netflix and GKIDS recently announced the news on the film’s streaming Netflix release. The film also recently made a return to theaters last week in celebration of its recent win for Best Animated Feature. This marked the second Academy Award for filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.


Hayao Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years is a critically acclaimed fantasy adventure, and quickly became the highest-grossing Japanese animated film in history. Set against the backdrop of the Pacific War in 1944, The Boy and the Heron follows a Japanese boy named Mahito Maki.

Tragedy strikes when Mahito’s mother falls victim to an air raid in Tokyo, leaving him devastated. Forced to evacuate to the suburbs along with his father, who runs a fighter plane factory, Mahito struggles to come to terms with his loss. Adding to his turmoil, Mahito finds it difficult to accept his mother’s sister, who is pregnant with his father’s child, as his new maternal figure.

The Boy and the Heron
Image via Studio Ghibli and GKIDS

As Mahito grapples with his grief and the upheaval in his life, he meets a grey heron, who has the ability to speak. With cryptic words, the heron suggests that Mahito’s mother may not be as unreachable as he believes, sparking a glimmer of hope that his life may regain some semblance of normality.

While no release date has been revealed for the animated feature’s debut on the streamer, it is expected to be announced later this year. We will report on the release date as soon as it has been made available.

The film is the latest animated masterpiece from Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli is a renowned Japanese animation film studio known for its captivating storytelling, breathtaking animation, and timeless characters. Founded on June 15, 1985, by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, along with producer Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli has become synonymous with quality and innovation in the world of animation.

The Boy and the Heron Still - 4 - Top 10 Movies of 2023
Courtesy of GKids and Studio Ghibli.

Located in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan, Studio Ghibli has produced a remarkable array of animated feature films, short films, and television commercials. Their works often explore themes of environmentalism, pacifism, the human condition, and the power of imagination.

Hayao Miyazaki, one of the co-founders, is widely regarded as one of the greatest animation directors in the world. His films have garnered international acclaim and have been influential in shaping the global perception of Japanese animation. Studio Ghibli’s films are characterized by their hand-drawn animation, attention to detail, and richly developed characters. They often feature strong, independent protagonists, magical worlds, and thought-provoking narratives that appeal to audiences of all ages.

In addition to its feature films, Studio Ghibli has also produced several short films, including The Whale Hunt and Ghiblies. The studio has won numerous awards, including several Academy Awards, and its films have achieved both critical and commercial success worldwide.

Despite Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement announcements, Studio Ghibli remains active, with projects continuing under the leadership of producer Toshio Suzuki. The studio’s legacy continues to inspire generations of filmmakers and animation enthusiasts around the globe.

RELATED: Hayao Miyazaki’s THE BOY AND THE HERON Becomes Highest Grossing Studio Ghibli Film at the US Box Office Ever

The current deal between Netflix, Goodfellas, and GKIDS extends worldwide outside of the United States and Japan. In the US, streaming rights for Studio Ghibli’s catalog are held by Max. In Japan, no streaming services hold the rights to stream Studio Ghibli movies.

Only one movie is currently absent from the Netflix and Max Studio Ghibli streaming agreements – the 1988 film Grave of the Fireflies. This is due to the fact that the publishing rights are not held by the studio’s usual publishing partner, Tokuma Shoten. Instead, they are owned by another company, Shinchosha. As of now, the film is not available for streaming on any platform. But the films that are available to watch on Max include the following:

  • Spirited Away
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind    
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya – Castle in the Sky
  • When Marnie Was There
  • Whisper of the Heart
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas
  • Porco Rosso
  • The Wind Rises
  • Only Yesterday
  • Pom Poko
  • The Cat Returns
  • Ponyo
  • Tales From Earthsea
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Earwig and the Witch
The Boy and the Heron
Courtesy of GKIDS and Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli fans in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America will be able to enjoy these movies subtitled in 28 languages and dubbed in up to 20 languages, meaning you don’t need to speak Japanese to enjoy Studio Ghibli’s iconic works.

About The Boy and the Heron

The Boy and the Heron - Domestic Release Poster

Release: December 8, 2023
Original Story and Screenplay Written and Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki
Producer: Toshio Suzuki
Music: Joe Hisaishi
Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer: Koji Kasamatsu
Supervising Animator: Takeshi Honda
Art Director: Yoji Takeshige
Production: Studio Ghibli
Distribution: GKIDS
Japanese Voice Cast: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki, AIMYON, Yoshino Kimura, Takuya Kimura, Jun Kunimura, Shohei Hino
English Dub Cast: Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson and Florence Pugh

Synopsis: 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.

Have you seen The Boy and the Heron yet? Will you be watching on Netflix when it drops in your region? Let us know in the comments below or on our socials.

SOURCE: Netflix

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Darren Lester

Darren is a writer, linguist, classicist and teacher from the south west of England. When he's not producing textbooks and teaching materials for foreign languages and classics, he's boasting to his students about how he can watch anime without subtitles.