Japan’s Hayao Miyazaki wins award for The Boy and The Heron

LOS ANGELES — More than two decades after winning his first Oscar, Japan’s revered animator Hayao Miyazaki has done it again.

The Boy and the Heron beat Disney’s Elemental and Spider-Man Across the Spider-verse to win the Best Animated Feature Film prize.

The 83-year-old also won the Golden Globe for the same film last January.

Set during World War Two, the semi-autobiographical film is about a boy who meets a mysterious speaking heron after losing his mother.

Miyazaki’s family was displaced by the war, like Mahito’s. His mother was also a strong influence on his work, as seen in the strong female characters in his films.

The co-founder of Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli won his first Oscar in 2003 for Spirited Away, about a girl who tries to save her parents who are turned into pigs – making it the first non-English animated film to win the title.

Spirited Away went on to become Japan’s highest grossing movie of all time and held the record for 19 years. My Neighbor Totoro, a film about two sisters and their mystical animal friend is also among Japan’s most popular and has become the mascot of the production house.

In 2014, Miyazaki – who has been dubbed the godfather of animation – received an honorary Oscar in recognition of his storytelling.

“My wife tells me that I’m a very lucky man,” Miyazaki said in his speech accepting that award.

“And I think I’ve been lucky because I’ve been able to participate in the last era when we can make films with paper, pencil and film,” he said through a translator.

The Boy and the Heron took about a decade to make, as Miyazaki’s animation is hand-drawn. Many of its competitors were produced using computer-generated images.

He was not present during Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony in the US to accept his second award. He has been nominated in the Best Animated Feature category four times in total. — BBC

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