Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron” wins best animated film at U.S. Golden Globes

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Japanese anime legendary director Hayao Miyazaki has once again captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with his latest masterpiece, “The Boy and the Heron.” The 124-minute fantasy film not only marked Miyazaki’s comeback as the winner of a major international contest but also made history as the first Japanese film to win the Best Animated Film award at the U.S. Golden Globes.

Produced by Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki’s production company, “The Boy and the Heron” has been hailed as exceptional by Toshio Suzuki, the film’s producer. Suzuki expressed hope that the film’s success would bring some positivity to Japan, which has faced challenges since the beginning of the year.

Miyazaki, an Oscar-winning animator known for his iconic works such as “Spirited Away,” had announced his retirement in 2013 but returned to create this latest masterpiece. “The Boy and the Heron” is a touching story that follows the journey of a young Japanese boy named Mahito during World War II. After the loss of his mother, Mahito encounters a talking heron that leads him to a magical tower, where he embarks on a fantastical adventure.

The film’s triumph at the Golden Globes has positioned it as a strong contender for the Best Animated Feature Film prize at the upcoming U.S. Academy Awards in March. It has surpassed other animated features, including “Suzume” directed by Makoto Shinkai, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

Miyazaki’s illustrious career in animated filmmaking has been marked by numerous accolades, including the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and an Oscar for “Spirited Away.” In 2014, he received an Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, solidifying his status as a visionary in the world of animation.

While Miyazaki’s film basks in its success, another film that received recognition at the Golden Globes, Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” has sparked controversy in Japan. The biopic, which depicts the life of physicist Robert Oppenheimer, has faced backlash due to online memes that seemingly mocked the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombings, which occurred in August 1945, resulted in an estimated 210,000 deaths by the end of that year.

Despite the controversy surrounding “Oppenheimer,” both films have made a significant impact on the international film scene. As “The Boy and the Heron” continues to enchant audiences, Miyazaki’s legacy as a master storyteller and animator remains unmatched, setting a high bar for the future of animated filmmaking.

(Source: Japan Times | BBC)

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