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The Boy and the Heron The Boy and the Heron

Studio Ghibli’s The Boy and the Heron was the talk of the animation world on Sunday evening after winning the animated feature Oscar. But that wasn’t the weekend’s first big win for Hayao Miyazaki’s latest feature, which scored the Japanese Academy Film Prize for animation of the year two days earlier.

Animation of the Year nominees at the 47th Japanese Academy Film Prize awards were:

  • The Boy and the Heron – WINNER
  •  The Birth of Kitaro: The Mystery of GeGeGe
  •  Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window
  •  Detective Conan: Black Iron Submarine
  • Blue Giant

Miyazaki’s previous feature, 2013’s The Wind Rises, also won the Japanese Academy’s animation of the year prize. That category was only created in 2006, but before that, Princess Mononoke was the first animated film to be nominated and win the best work category, which Miyazaki won again with Spirited Away in 2001.

Toho’s Godzilla Minus One, which won best effects at the Oscars, was the Japanese Academy’s pick for best film. The monster movie won eight Japanese Academy awards, including best supporting actress, cinematography, screenplay, editing, sound, art direction, and lighting.

Surprisingly, Godzilla Minus One’s Takashi Yamazaki wasn’t nominated for best director. He was a part of the film’s vfx team, however, meaning he did win an Oscar two days after the Japanese Academy awards, making him the first filmmaker to win the vfx honor since Stanley Kubrick did so in 1969 for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Another animated feature, Toho’s jazz-fueled Blue Giant, won the Japanese Academy’s best music award. The film turns on a former high school basketball player who begins practicing day and night and moves to Tokyo in an effort to become one of the greatest sax players of all time. For the film, composer Uehara played the piano parts, while Shun Ishikawa played drums, and Tomoaki Baba played saxophone.