- Despite being widely consumed, anime films are rarely acknowledged at prestigious award ceremonies. The last anime to win an Academy Award was Spirited Away in 2003.
- Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, The Boy and the Heron, won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture. It is a slow-paced, profound film that showcases Miyazaki’s artistry and addresses his struggle with passing the baton to the next generation.
- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was nominated for the Golden Globe but did not win. Some fans believe it was snubbed, but others argue that The Boy and the Heron deserved the award. In the end, it comes down to the opinions of the voters.
Despite being one of the world’s most widely consumed types of entertainment, anime films, and series are seldom acknowledged at prestigious award ceremonies. In fact, the last time an anime won an Academy Award was in 2003, when Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, Spirited Away, received both commercial and critical acclaim in Japan as well as overseas.
Since then, only a handful of anime films have been nominated for Academy Awards and other notable accolades such as Golden Globes, but 2024 surprised us with The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki’s latest bittersweet love letter to the anime industry, which received a Golden Globes Award for the Best Animated Motion Picture. However, there is a lot of controversy with regard to why Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse did not win the award despite being nominated. So, was it snubbed at the 2024 Golden Globes, or did The Boy and the Heron genuinely deserve it?
How The Boy and the Heron Won the Golden Globes
Hayao Miyazaki is one of the greatest storytellers of our time, with the depth and artistry he brings into each of his films. The Boy and the Heron continues one of Miyazaki’s career-long obsessions, telling the story of Mahito, a young boy who yearns for maternal affection after his mother dies. As he unexpectedly ventures into a world of the living and the dead, he discovers a new beginning when Himi, his aunt, begins to take care of him.
Despite being a slow-paced, complex film, The Boy and the Heron is profound, filled with nuances of Miyazaki’s experiences throughout his career, and it addresses the filmmaker’s struggle with passing the baton to the next generation as he ages. Aside from a few apparent connections to prior Ghibli films like Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away, there were a plethora of character references that evoked a sense of nostalgia in long-time Ghibli fans.
Furthermore, every scene in the anime was flawlessly animated, with beautiful visuals floating on the screen despite the character’s struggles, which portrayed despair and loneliness. In a nutshell, the film was incredibly deep, particularly for people who had been watching anime films for decades, making it one of Hayao Miyazaki’s finest works.
Even if you overlook all the implications in the movie, the story is beautifully presented, and it is what you define as a modern classic that will be remembered for ages to come. So, it is of little surprise that the film won the Golden Globes Award for Best Animated Motion Picture.
Was Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Snubbed at the Golden Globes?
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Miles Morales returns as Spider-Man and travels across the Multiverse to join forces with Gwen Stacy and a new team to face off with their most powerful villain yet.
- Release Date
- June 2, 2023
Many successful animated films were released in 2023, including Super Mario Bros. Movie, which grossed a staggering 1.3 billion dollars at the box office, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, which turned out to be an unexpected delight and others, but Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse outperformed them all, providing a sensational experience that surpassed its predecessor in both animation quality and the depth of storytelling.
Unfortunately, it couldn’t win at the Golden Globes this year as The Boy and the Heron took it home. So, was it truly a snub, or is The Boy and the Heron superior to Spider-Verse? A devoted anime fan would argue that The Boy and the Heron is better in every aspect compared to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, but a loyal animated viewer would point out vice versa. However, from a neutral fan’s perspective, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was significantly better than The Boy and the Heron in many respects, but unfortunately, it wasn’t a complete film.
We’re not referring to how it was a sequel to a blockbuster film, but rather how it ended and seemed incomplete instead of providing viewers with a satisfying and adrenaline-filled conclusion, leaving fans with tons of burning questions to be answered in the sequel. In this sense, The Boy and the Heron seems like the end of an era (literally), with Miyazaki’s message resonating strongly throughout the film. In addition, both films shared so much in common while also being masterpieces in their own right.
While Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse excelled in creating a mind-blowing multiverse concept, The Boy and the Heron was a simple and poignant narrative woven with Miyazaki’s excellent narrative direction. If Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had been shown as a complete film rather than leaving fans wanting more with a cliffhanger, it would have had an edge over The Boy and the Heron.
Nonetheless, the Golden Globes winner is not without flaws, as a portion of the fandom found the movie uninteresting despite it being a visually stunning anime film. Having said that, both Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and The Boy and the Heron deserved the award, and it comes down to voters’ opinions over what the audience believes is the better movie.
Naturally, there can only be one winner, and this time, The Boy and the Heron made history by becoming the first anime film to win at the Golden Globes, just as Spirited Away was at the Academy Awards, both of which are Hayao Miyazaki’s whimsical gifts to the thriving anime industry. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is streaming on Netflix, while The Boy and the Heron has yet to receive a streaming or digital release date.