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The Boy and the Heron The Boy and the Heron

Two days after his 83rd birthday, Hayao Miyazaki has won the Golden Globe for animated motion picture.

The Boy and the Heron is now the first foreign animated film to win the animation honor at the Globes in the 18-year history of the category.

Neither Miyazaki nor his producer Toshio Suzuki attended the Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles and no acceptance speech was given. However, Suzuki released a statement through the film’s American distributor GKIDS:

The Golden Globes organization had long seemed unaware of the existence of anime, but they have made an effort in recent years to recognize films from Japan. The first time they nominated anime was in 2018, with Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai, followed by a nomination for Masaaki Yuasa’s Inu-Oh in 2022. This year, they nominated two films from Japan: the winning Miyazaki film and Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume. (Miyazaki was also nominated in 2013 in the Foreign Language Film category for The Wind Rises.)

Besides the two anime films, four American films were nominated in the animation category: Disney-Pixar’s Elemental, Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and Disney’s Wish.

Miyazaki’s win isn’t exactly a surprise – last month, we wrote, “The deeper we get into awards season, the more [Boy and the Heron] feels the frontrunner to score most of the big animation prizes.” Nevertheless, it’s unexpected any time a foreign animated film wins a high-profile honor, especially at the Golden Globes, which had previously never awarded its animation prize to anything but American films.

As we head into the last couple months of awards season, the animated feature honors appear to be turning into a two-way race between Heron and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Heron picked up top honors from the prestigious L.A. and N.Y. film critics groups, while Spider-Verse has often come out as the top choice among regional critics’ associations.

The National Board of Review recognized both films – Heron as one of the top 10 films of 2023 and Spider-Verse as the best animated feature.

Tonight’s win for Heron shifts the momentum in Miyazaki’s direction, making The Boy and the Heron the clear frontrunner to beat for the rest of this season.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie, The Boy and the Heron, and Spider-Verse were additionally nominated in various music categories, but none won.

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