How to Watch Studio Ghibli’s The Boy and the Heron at Home

The Boy and the Heron has finally announced the release dates for its physical editions in the UK.

The Blu-Ray edition of the new Studio Ghibli film will be available for purchase from September 23, while a limited edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook will be released on October 7.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on them, you can pre-order them now.

The Boy and the Heron 4K UHD (Blu-ray)

Hayao Miyazaki’s new film (his first film in 10 years after the 2013 one) The wind picks up) was one of the best films of 2023 and won the Best Animated Feature Film award at the Oscars.

The film is based on the 1937 novel How do you live? by Yoshino Genzaburō. The original story followed a 15-year-old boy named Copper who struggles to understand life. The film essentially follows this same idea but with an entirely different backdrop filled with time travel and talking parakeets in a Taken away as if by magic-like a fantastic adventure.

Luckily for us and anime fans everywhere, retirement doesn’t sit well with Miyazaki. The Boy and the Heron will not be the 83-year-old filmmaker’s last film, as he is already thinking about his next project.

So far, here’s everything we know about it. The Boy and the Herondigital, physical and streaming release.

Studio Ghibli

When will The Boy and The Heron be available to watch at home?

Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film The Boy and the Heron is not yet available to watch at home.

On March 12, 2024, GKids confirmed that the film will stream on Max in the United States, following a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Discovery to extend the streamer’s exclusive film streaming rights to Studio Ghibli productions.

The date of the first streaming broadcast on Max will be announced later this year.

GKids has also confirmed that three physical editions of the film will be released, including “the first-ever 4K UHD release for a Studio Ghibli film.” These editions are now available for purchase on Amazon . You can also purchase the film digitally for $19.99.

The Boy and the Heron – Blu-ray + DVD

In the UK, unfortunately, there is still no confirmation of a physical or streaming release.

The film would be expected to land on Netflix, where most of Studio Ghibli’s catalog is currently available.

The Boy and the Heron was first released in its native Japan on July 14, 2023, before being released in the United States and the United Kingdom in December 2023. It is also the first Studio Ghibli film to be released in IMAX.

Studio Ghibli

Despite the film’s summer release in Japan, we didn’t get to see the first trailer until September 6th, a highly unusual strategy. Prior to its original release, there was no promotional material at all, save for a rather ambiguous poster that was published by Studio Ghibli through social media.

After the film’s release in Japan, we finally got a first look The Boy and the Heron with some official images.

Still, this unprecedented level of secrecy has remained in place, and for good reason.

Interview with a Japanese magazine Bungei Shunju (via The Hollywood Reporter), said producer Toshio Suzuki The Boy and the Heron were to be released without “any trailers or TV ads…no newspaper ads either” because “deep down, I think that’s what moviegoers latently want.”

“If you watch all the trailers,” Suzuki continues, “you know everything that’s going to happen in this movie. So what do the audience think? There must be people who, after watching all the trailers, don’t want to go see the movie. So I wanted to do the opposite.”

It’s a bold move, but if anyone could have pulled it off, it’s Studio Ghibli.

And they did: The Boy and the Heron became the biggest release in Studio Ghibli history, grossing $13.2 million (¥1.83 billion) in its opening weekend. After more than a month in Japanese theaters, the film had grossed over $48 million.

Miyazaki’s previous films such as Taken away as if by magic, Princess Mononoke, The Howl’s Moving CastleAnd Ponyo All of which are among the highest-grossing films ever released in Japan.

Studio Ghibli

Set in 1943, during the Pacific War, The Boy and the Heron follows a 12-year-old boy named Mahito Maki, who discovers an abandoned tower in his new town, entering a fantasy world with a talking grey heron.

As usual with recent Studio Ghibli films, the voice cast is packed with stars.

The Boy and the HeronThe cast includes Florence Pugh, Robert Pattinson, Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Mark Hamill, Karen Fukuhara and Willem Dafoe.

In our review we are here at Digital Spy said the film is “a sumptuous and absorbing masterpiece of animation, the film draws on Taken away as if by magicThe overflowing imagination of Princess Mononokethe epic scale and My Neighbor Totoro“the deep emotion he experiences in putting together a unique coming-of-age story about the loss of innocence.”

If you want to replicate the secret experience that Japanese moviegoers will enjoy, your best option is to fly away Kiki-style and hide in a random spirit bath until it’s finally safe to emerge and watch the film for yourself.

The Boy and the Heron will be available to stream on Max in the US at a later date.

Almost all Studio Ghibli films are now available to stream on Netflix in the UK and Max in the US.

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After teaching in England and South Korea, David turned to writing in Germany, where he covered everything from superhero movies to the Berlin Film Festival.

In 2019 David moved to London to join Digital Spy, where he was able to indulge his love of comics, horror and LGBTQ+ storytelling as Deputy Editor of Television and then as Acting Editor of Television.

David has participated in numerous LGBTQ+ panels to discuss queer representation and in 2020 he created the Rainbow Crew interview series, which celebrates LGBTQ+ talent on both sides of the camera through video content and long-form reads.

Beyond that, David has interviewed all your favorites including Henry Cavill, Pedro Pascal, Olivia Colman, Patrick Stewart, Ncuti Gatwa, Jamie Dornan, Regina King and many more, not to mention countless Drag Race legends.

As a freelance entertainment journalist, David has articles in numerous publications including Empire online, Radio TimesIN, Highsnobiety, The geeks’ denThe digital solution And Sight and sound.