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Oscar Winner ‘The Boy And The Heron’ Bound For Max As Streamer Extends Licensing Agreement With Studio Ghibli

On the heels of Best Animated Feature wins at the Oscars and Golden Globes, Hayao Miyazaki’s hand-drawn original The Boy and the Heron has been set to stream exclusively in the U.S. on Max, following the streamer’s move to extend its multiyear U.S. licensing deal with famed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli.

Max closed its initial deal with Studio Ghibli catalogue in 2020, marking the first time the studio’s films were available to stream. Expect a premiere date for The Boy and the Heron to be announced later this year.

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One of the most acclaimed and influential animation studios in the world, Studio Ghibli previously won an Oscar for 2002’s Spirited Away and has also drawn nominations for Howl’s Moving Castle, The Wind Rises, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, and When Marnie Was There. Other celebrated works from the studio include My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Ponyo, to name a few.

“Our subscribers are always looking for unique stories, and we are happy to continue to offer these award-winning, critically acclaimed films and to add ‘The Boy and the Heron’ to our deep and rich Max content offering,” said Elizabeth Bannan Atcheson, VP, Content Acquisitions, Warner Bros. Discovery.

Marking Miyazaki’s first feature in a decade, The Boy and the Heron came together following the director’s reversal of his decision to retire, announced in the fall of 2013. Produced by Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, the film tells the story of the headstrong boy Mahito who, in the wake of his mother’s death and his father’s remarriage, ventures into a dreamlike world shared by both the living and the dead. Released in Japan by Toho last summer, the film has to date grossed over $167MM worldwide.

A producer and distributor of award-winning and artist-driven animation, Gkids has notched a total of 13 Animated Feature Oscar nominations since its founding in 2008, winning the feature race for the first time with The Boy and the Heron this week.

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