Studio Ghibli fans (with Netflix) rejoice, as the streaming platform has finally acquired rights to 21 of the Japanese animation studio’s classic films. HBO maintains the rights to the studio’s back catalogue in North America, but in Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, Netflix will begin streaming the films from 1 February. The films will be subtitled in 28 languages and dubbed in 20 languages.
The full list of films, and their staggered release dates, are as follows.
1 February 2020: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Ocean Waves, Tales from Earthsea.
1 March 2020: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns, Arrietty, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya.
1 April 2020: Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, From Up on Poppy Hill, The Wind Rises, When Marnie Was There.
It’s a long time coming for Ghibli fans, as the studio has been famously hesitant to sell its catalogue to digital platforms. Studio Ghibli's Toshio Suzuki explained the change of heart in a statement: “In this day and age, there are various great ways a film can reach audiences. We’ve listened to our fans and have made the definitive decision to stream our film catalogue. We hope people around the world will discover the world of Studio Ghibli through this experience.” Aram Yacoubian, Netflix’s director of original animation, added that bringing “this whimsical and wonderful world of animation,” to Netflix was a “dream come true” for the company and its members.
Studio Ghibli hasn’t released a new feature length film since 2016’s When Marnie Was There, but is making up for lost time now, announcing it is currently working on two new films including How Do You Live? – allegedly Hayao Miyazaki’s last film. In the meantime, the studio has released its latest advert for Japanese convenience store chain Lawson, directed by Kunio Katō, and depicting a day in the shop via hand drawn cel animation.
Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Netflix