Hayao Miyazaki wins Golden Globe for The Boy and the Heron

TOKYO — Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki has won his first Golden Globe Award at the age of 82 for The Boy and the Heron.

This marks the first Golden Globe win for a non-English animated feature.

Billed as Miyazaki’s final feature, it was up against Disney productions such as Wish and Elemental in the animated feature category.

The film centres on a young boy who meets a mysterious speaking heron after losing his mother during World War Two.

It echoes parts of Miyazaki’s life story. Like the boy, his own family was evacuated to the countryside during the war. Miyazaki also had a deep bond with his own mother, who was said to have had a large influence on his work and the strong female characters in his films.

The Golden Globes have traditionally been seen as a bellwether for the Oscars. Miyazaki’s 2001 feature, Spirited Away, won an Oscar in the animated feature category.

Miyazaki came out of retirement to make The Boy and the Heron, and spent seven years on the production. He directed and wrote the original screenplay for the film.

The film was reportedly the first original anime film to top the North American box office after it was released there in December.

It first premiered in Japan in June and has been a box office hit in many countries, grossing more than $136m (£107m) worldwide.

Producer Toshio Suzuki said last year that it was one of the most expensive Japanese films ever made.

While the filmmakers were not present in Los Angeles to accept the award, Suzuki said on Monday: “This is the first Golden Globe awarded to a Studio Ghibli film and it is a very special feeling.” Alongside Miyazaki, he is one of several co-founders of Studio Ghibli.

“Since the beginning of this year, Japan has been hit by a series of tragic earthquakes and accidents… In such a situation, I hope the bright news of winning an award can bring a smile to everyone’s face, even if only a little,” he added. — BBC

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