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Studio Ghibli's Oscar-winning 'The Boy and the Heron' will arrive on Netflix—but there's a huge catch

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Studio Ghibli fans, rejoice! Hayao Miyazaki’s latest masterpiece, The Boy and the Heron (or How Do You Live? in Japan), is set to land on Netflix later this year. This news comes as part of a renewed global distribution deal between Netflix, Studio Ghibli, sales agent Goodfellas, and independent distributor GKIDS.

The Boy and the Heron soared to critical acclaim upon its release, earning Miyazaki his first feature film in a decade and securing him his second Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.




In The Boy and the Heron, young Mahito grapples with grief after his mother's death. He moves to the countryside with his father and pregnant stepmother, Natsuko. There, he encounters a mysterious talking heron that leads him on a fantastical journey. The heron hints that Mahito's mother might still be alive, luring him to a hidden tower rumored to hold secrets. The hand-drawn film explores themes of loss, acceptance, and the power of imagination through Mahito's extraordinary experience.

While Netflix boasts an extensive library of animated features, The Boy and the Heron will be a significant addition, particularly for international audiences. Now, here’s the caveat. The film, along with the other 21 Studio Ghibli titles included in the deal, will be available for streaming everywhere except the United States and Japan, owing to preexisting distribution deals with HBO Max for the US and Studio Ghibli’s own distribution channels within Japan.

Here’s a list of the other 21 Studio Ghibli films secured by Netflix for international streaming:


  • Castle in the Sky (1986)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  • Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
  • Spirited Away (2001)
  • Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  • Ponyo (2008)
  • From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
  • The Wind Rises (2013)
  • When Marnie Was There (2014)
  • Ocean Waves (1993)
  • Pom Poko (1994)
  • Whisper of the Heart (1995)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Tales from Earthsea (2006)
  • Arrietty (2010)
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)
  • Totoro: The Cat Returns (2002)
  • Porco Rosso (1992)

Despite the regional limitations, this marks a significant expansion of Studio Ghibli’s global reach. Netflix’s vast platform will introduce The Boy and the Heron and other beloved Ghibli classics to a new generation of viewers worldwide.






Image: Netflix

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