'The Boy and the Heron' streaming date speculation: When will it be available to watch?

Studio Ghibli's The Boy and the Heron streaming date
(Image credit: Toho)

Studio Ghibli might already be well-known for its whimsical fantasy tales, but this rich history did little to prepare fans for the ever-exciting adventure experienced in “The Boy and the Heron.” The animated film took home a whopping $127 million at the box office, becoming not only the top-grossing anime film ever released in North America, but likewise in Japan, as well.

Marked as the studio’s 24th film and director Hayao Miyazaki’s final animated creation, “The Boy and the Heron” certainly still had ample hype surrounding it. The story follows the young Mahito in the throes of an enchanted mystery surrounding his new home. Although the passing of his mother has soured his meaning in life, Mahito still finds ample reason to live with — and eventually even love — those around him.

Taken from the Japanese kanji (and the novel it’s based on), the movie title’s true meaning of “How Do You Live?” best ascribes its outward feeling, and that feeling certainly shows in its many accolades. “The Boy and the Heron” has been nominated for several awards, including Best Animated Feature at the 2024 Oscars. It already won at the Golden Globes for Best Animated Feature Film.

In a similar fashion to Mahito’s “How Do You Live?” quandary, many might be wondering how best to revisit or even experience for the first time this fantasy extravaganza at home. In the wake of being snubbed at the Oscars, “The Boy and the Heron” streaming date and location becomes ever-more significant. Let’s dive in to find out when and where to watch Miyazaki’s latest masterpiece.

Where to stream 'The Boy and the Heron'

Where might 'The Boy and the Heron' be available for streaming?

It’s a bit unclear where specifically Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron” will find itself amongst the sea of streamers. One thing to note, however, is that the best streaming service, Max, is home to a large portion of existing Studio Ghibli movies, making it the prime candidate for any of its newest releases.

That doesn’t mean “The Boy and the Heron” is officially bound for Max, though, as it could find its way onto various other platforms, namely Netflix or Apple TV, due largely to international viewing. Given that Max isn’t available worldwide, and several other Studio Ghibli movies can be found on the aforementioned platforms in countries not serviced by Max, it stands to reason that the movie’s producers go in a different direction for “The Boy and the Heron.”

It all depends on where best its producers and distributors find the widest appeal. While Max has proven to be a welcome home for all things Studio Ghibli, there might be better avenues for getting its newest smash hit into as many households as possible. We’ll just have to wait and see where “The Boy and the Heron” fits into the streaming landscape, though an announcement is surely on the near horizon as its theatrical circuit wanes.

'The Boy and the Heron' possible streaming date

'The Boy and the Heron' streaming release date speculation

Similarly, there isn’t yet any valid information on when we can expect “The Boy and the Heron” on streamers. Given that it's still in select theaters worldwide, it’s a safe bet not to expect the animated feature to hit home platforms for some time.

We can take into account the fact that Disney’s “The Marvels,” which released in theaters only a month prior to “The Boy and the Heron,” is set to launch on Disney Plus come February, meaning that Studio Ghibli’s animated adventure probably won’t be dropping on streaming platforms until Spring 2024 at the earliest.

The speed at which “The Boy and the Heron” hits streamers relies solely on its inevitable digital debut. Once it’s available to rent and purchase across a wide range of platforms, only then it will be launched on its streamer of choice after about a month or two. Thus, Spring or even Summer 2024 prove to be the best times to anticipate Miyazaki’s pseudo-autobiographical tale.

In the meantime, you can check out the local cinema showtimes for “The Boy and the Heron” at Fandango, Cinemark, Regal, or AMC. If that’s just not enough, or maybe you can’t make it out to the theater, than it’s probably high time you nabbed one of the best streaming devices and experienced any option among Ghibli’s incredible existing catalogue — you can't go wrong with "Kiki’s Delivery Service."

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Ryan Epps
Staff Writer

Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel.