How To Watch The Boy And The Heron At Home


Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki is 83; because of this and his own past flirtations with retirement (once upon a time, 1997's "Princess Mononoke" was going to be his swan song), some morbid critics are a bit too eager to look at how each new Miyazaki film would serve as his career capstone.

I'm going to keep such thoughts to a minimum, but Miyazaki's latest film, 2023's "The Boy and the Heron" (or as it's titled in Japanese, "How Do You Live?"), couldn't have been made by anyone but a man aware he's aging. Set in Japan during World War II, the movie centers on young Mahito, who must reckon with the loss of his mother as he falls into a Lewis Carroll-style fantasy world held together by its elderly creator.

"The Boy and the Heron" won Best Animated Feature at the Oscars earlier this year (which it totally deserved). If you haven't seen it yet, don't fret. U.S. distributor GKids has announced the home media release date for the film — including a Blu-ray release date.

When can The Boy and the Heron be streamed, rented, or purchased?

According to GKids, "The Boy and the Heron" will be available to rent or purchase "on all major digital platforms" (think Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV, Vudu, etc.) on Tuesday, June 25, 2024. It will stream in 4K, described by GKids as "the first-ever Studio Ghibli film presented in 4K high definition."

The Blu-ray editions of "The Boy and the Heron" will arrive two weeks later on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. The film will be available as a standard Blu-ray + DVD release, a 4K UHD release, and a limited edition Steelbook. "The Boy and the Heron" is currently available for pre-order on and

There is no mention of "The Boy and the Heron" eventually streaming on MAX alongside other films in the Ghibli library. However, If you're a MAX subscriber, there's no reason not to brush up on your Ghibli knowledge (or revisit old favorites). Previous Miyazaki films that most overlap with "The Boy and the Heron" include "Spirited Away," "Howl's Moving Castle," and "Kiki's Delivery Service."

What special features will The Boy and the Heron have?

The digital and physical releases of "The Boy and the Heron" will include both the original Japanese language audio track and GKids' English dub (written and directed, respectively, by anime dubbing veterans Stephanie Sheh and Michael Sinterniklaas). Like past Ghibli films, the English dub of "The Boy and the Heron" features a celebrity cast: Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson (who gives one of the best Ghibli dub performances ever), Florence Pugh, Willem Dafoe, Mark Hamill, Karen Fukuhara, and more.

As for special features on "The Boy and the Heron" Blu-ray, GKids indicates there will at least be these:

Feature-length storyboards.

Separate interviews with composer Joe Hisaishi, producer Toshio Suzuki, and supervising animator Takeshi Hondo.

"Drawing with Takeshi Hondo," presumably documenting his work as an animator.

A music video for the end credits song, "Spinning Globe" by Kenshi Yonezu.

The film's teasers and trailers.

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