GKIDS Acquires North American Distribution Rights to Hayao Miyazaki's Final Film, 'The Boy and the Heron'

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GKIDS Acquires North American Distribution Rights to Hayao Miyazaki's Final Film, 'The Boy and the Heron'

Acclaimed producer and distributor of award-winning animation, GKIDS, has announced its acquisition of North American distribution rights to THE BOY AND THE HERON, the highly anticipated new film from the legendary Academy Award-winning Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Japan's celebrated animation house, Studio Ghibli. The all-rights deal marks a continuation of GKIDS' long-standing relationship with Ghibli. GKIDS will release THE BOY AND THE HERON theatrically in North America later this year. 

The film, which was released in Japan as Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka (translated as How Do You Live), is an original story written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, produced by the Oscar®-winning Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, and features a musical score from Miyazaki's long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi.

David Jesteadt, GKIDS president, said, "Hayao Miyazaki is a living legend in filmmaking, as evidenced by his Academy Award win for Spirited Away and his two Oscar nominations for Howl's Moving Castle and The Wind Rises. It's been ten years since the world has seen a new film from Miyazaki-san, and GKIDS is so proud and honored to unveil his latest, highly anticipated masterpiece in North America."

This hand-drawn, animated feature marks director Miyazaki's return to feature filmmaking after a 10-year hiatus and will be exclusively released in Japanese cinemas this weekend. In an unprecedented move by Studio Ghibli, no promotional materials, including images, trailers, synopses, advertisements, or any other information, have been made available to the public prior to the film's theatrical debut in Japan. Consistent with this approach, GKIDS, the distributor, will refrain from releasing any additional details or marketing materials at this time.

GKIDS handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films across all theatrical, home video, digital, and streaming platforms. The company has released Studio Ghibli's most recent films in theaters nationwide, including the Academy Award-nominated The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, the Academy Award-nominated When Marnie Was There, From Up on Poppy Hill, and more. Since 2017, GKIDS has produced the annual Studio Ghibli Fest, a monthly nationwide theatrical program of Ghibli film screenings in over 800 theaters across the country. The series continues this year with a focus on the films of Hayao Miyazaki.

Studio Ghibli is one of the most acclaimed and influential animation studios in the world, inspiring filmmakers and audiences alike over the last 30 years with beloved stories and breathtaking visuals. Under the brilliance of visionary animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and producer Toshio Suzuki, the studio's films are known for timeless classics such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Ponyo; and have won countless international awards including an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature for Spirited Away, as well as five additional Oscar® nominations for Howl's Moving Castle, The Wind Rises, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There, and The Red Turtle. Director and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki was separately given an Honorary Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards in 2014, and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures paid tribute to his artwork with a special exhibit when the Museum opened in September 2021.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, GKIDS is the producer and distributor of artist-driven and award-winning animation from around the world. The company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021. GKIDS handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world's most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and others; as well as the critically acclaimed television series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Also, GKIDS is the founder and host of ANIMATION IS FILM, the annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions.

Photo Credit: Studio Ghibli promotional artwork.


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