What To Watch After… The Boy and the Heron

The Boy And The Heron

The beloved animated films such as Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli have garnered a global fanbase. They have become a significant part of many viewers’ childhood, evolving into a cultural phenomenon. While fans have relished the latest release, The Boy and the Heron, the announcement of the retirement of the visionary animator Hayao Miyazaki has also surfaced. For those seeking similar films to enjoy, here is our list of recommendations to explore!

Spirited Away

Spirited Away - The Boy and the Heron - Hayao Miyazaki
Credit: Studio Ghibli

If you enjoyed watching The Boy and the Heron, you may also love Spirited Away, produced by Studio Ghibli. This hand-drawn masterpiece won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The story follows a girl named Chihiro, who must save her transformed parents in a spirit world. The film is renowned for its stunning animation and the ability of composer Joe Hisaishi to evoke deep emotions. It showcases Chihiro’s transformation from a carefree child to a courageous hero.

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle - Studio Ghibli
Credit: Studio Ghibli

Prepare to embark on a journey into the enchanting world of Howl’s Moving Castle, a true treasure from Studio Ghibli. The film revolves around Sophie, a hatmaker who is transformed into an elderly woman by a witch. Voiced by Emily Mortimer and Jean Simmons, Sophie encounters the enigmatic Howl, whose ability to change shape adds layers of complexity to the story, delving deep into the realm of fantasy. While Sophie is initially portrayed as an observer rather than a traditional heroine, the film captivates audiences with its exceptional animation and compelling storytelling.

My Neighbour Totoro

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Credit: Studio Ghibli

My Neighbour Totoro is a beloved creation from Studio Ghibli, offering a rare, villain-free, and heartwarming story. The plot revolves around two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, as they explore an imaginary world filled with wonder and devoid of conflict. The film showcases Hayao Miyazaki’s distinctive hand-drawn animation style, setting it apart from other forms of animation. The narrative emphasises simple joys, family relationships, and childhood activities, making it a delightful and uplifting experience for all. Its universal themes and endearing characters have made it a timeless classic, much like The Boy and the Heron. 

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke - Animated Film - The Boy and the Heron
Credit: Studio Ghibli

Princess Mononoke is another remarkable animated film created by the renowned animator Hayao Miyazaki. Set in medieval Japan, the story explores the relationship between humans, forest creatures, and otherworldly beings during a period of industrialisation. The central character, a young prince named Ashitaka, grapples with understanding a curse and the disruption of natural balance. The film delves into themes of coexistence and the loss of harmony in a thought-provoking way.

Ponyo

Ponyo - Studio Ghibli - The Boy and the Heron
Credit: Studio Ghibli

Ponyo offers a captivating blend of magical animation and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages. The animated film follows two characters, Sosuke and Ponyo, with Ponyo initially being a goldfish capable of transforming into a girl. The hand-drawn animation skilfully captures the underwater scenes, adding to the film’s visual appeal. The film addresses the significance of having a balanced environment, conveying an important message about the interconnection between nature and humanity. If you enjoyed The Boy and the Heron, then give this adventure a watch too.

The Boy and the Heron is yet another hand-drawn masterpiece from Hayao Miyazaki, a style that is now uncommon in the film industry. If you are interested in films with a similar animation style, the above films are a great place to start!

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