The Boy and the Heron: how to watch, reviews, cast, trailer and everything we know about the Miyazaki movie

 The Boy and the Heron.
The Boy and the Heron.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Ten years after the release of his last movie and what many believed was his retirement, Hayao Miyazaki returned with a brand-new animated movie, The Boy and the Heron, a treat not only Studio Ghibli fans excited, but movie fans all over the world.

Miyazaki is a filmmaking legend as one of the co-founders of the Japanese animation company, Studio Ghibli, which has become beloved for its gorgeous animation style and fantastical stories. The studio's movies have also received critical acclaim and awards, as Miyazaki won a Best Animated Feature Oscar for his movie Spirited Away and was nominated for two more, Howl's Moving Castle and The Wind Rises.

All that said, here is everything that you need to know about The Boy and the Heron.

How to watch The Boy and the Heron

The Boy and the Heron is still playing in select US and UK movie theaters, but it has been announced that The Boy and the Heron is going to stream on Max at some point in 2024 for US viewers.. Find out how you can watch The Boy and the Heron here.

The Boy and the Heron cast

There are two casts for The Boy and the Heron, the cast of Japanese voice actors and English-language stars that are lending their voices to the Miyazaki movies. Some of the noteworthy stars that are set for the English-language version include Christian Bale, Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattison and Mark Hammil.

Here is the complete list of actors providing their voices for The Boy and the Heron, both the English and Japanese-language versions:

  • Luca Padovan/Soma Santoki as Mahito Maki

  • Christian Bale/Takuya Kimura as Shoichi Maki

  • Gemma Chan/Yoshino Kimura as Natsuko

  • Robert Pattinson/Masaki Suda as The Gray Heron

  • Mark Hamill/Shohei Hino as Granduncle

  • Florence Pugh/Ko Shibasaki as Kiriko

  • Willem Dafoe/Karou Kobayashi as Nobel Pelican

  • Karen Fukuhara/Aimyon as Lady Himi

  • Dave Bautista/Jun Kunimura as The Parakeet King

  • Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori and Dan Stevens as the Parakeets

The Boy and the Heron plot

Hayao Miyazaki is also credited as the screenwriter for The Boy and the Heron. Here is the synopsis:

"A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning. A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death and creation, in tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki."

The Boy and the Heron trailer

Here is the first teaser/trailer featuring the Japanese voice cast and English subtitles:

And here is the official English-language trailer for The Boy and the Heron:

GKIDS has also released a trailer that not only promotes The Boy and the Heron, but reminds us of the incredible slate of movies that Miyazaki has made throughout his career.

The Boy and the Heron reviews

Reviews for The Boy and the Heron are glowing, as the movie is "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes with an overall positive score of 96% as of December 20. Many are calling the movie another masterpiece from Miyazaki.

The Boy and the Heron awards

Here is a roundup of the major awards and nominations that The Boy and the Heron has earned so far:


  • Best Animated Feature Film (winner)


  • Best Animated Film (winner)

Golden Globes

  • Best Motion Picture Animated (winner)

  • Best Original Score (nominee)

Critics Choice Awards

  • Best Animated Feature (nominee)

London Critics' Circle Awards

  • Foreign Language Film of the Year (nominee)

  • Animated Film of the Year (nominee)

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards

  • Best Animation (winner)

National Board of Review

  • Top 10 Films of the Year

New York Film Critics Awards

  • Best Animated Film (winner)

Hayao Miyazaki movies

The Boy and the Heron marks Miyazaki's 13th feature animated movie. Here is his full list of previous movies:

  • Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

  • Conan the Future Boy: The Big Giant Robot's Resurrection (1984)

  • Castle in the Sky (1986)

  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

  • Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

  • Porco Rosso (1992)

  • Princess Mononoke (1997)

  • Spirited Away (2001)

  • Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

  • Ponyo (2008)

  • The Wind Rises (2013)

The Boy and the Heron poster
The Boy and the Heron poster