The iconic animated features of Japan’s Studio Ghibli will be available in territories outside the U.S., Canada and Japan on Netflix starting in February. The move is a further change of position for the studio which has repeatedly resisted the idea that its beloved cartoons would be released on digital platforms.
Netflix, sales agent Wild Bunch, and Studio Ghibli, which counts Hayao Miyazaki as one of its leading lights, will upload 21 Ghibli features including Academy Award-winner “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Arrietty,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya.”
They will be screened in their native Japanese, with sub-titles, and be available globally on Netflix except in the U.S., Canada, and Japan.
“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,” said producer Toshio Suzuki at Studio Ghibli in a prepared statement.
In October last year, WarnerMedia streamer HBO Max has secured the U.S. streaming rights to Studio Ghibli movies, meaning the entirety of the iconic Japanese animation studio’s collection will be available on HBO Max upon launch in spring 2020.
In December, GKids announced that Ghibli films would be available for digital purchase on all North American digital platforms.
The studio has been on a five-year hiatus since “When Marnie Was There,” however, in 2017 Studio Ghibli reopened for business to produce “How Do I Live,” which will allegedly be Miyazaki’s final film (although that information is to be taken with a pinch of salt given that Miyazaki has cut short his retirement several times before).
In May, Studio Ghibli unveiled plans to build its first theme park outside the Japanese city of Nagoya, where fans will be able to explore multiple themed areas based on Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Princess Mononoke,” as well as other Ghibli films.
“This is a dream come true for Netflix and millions of our members. Studio Ghibli’s animated films are legendary and have enthralled fans around the world for over 35 years. We’re excited to make them available in more languages across Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia – so that more people can enjoy this whimsical and wonderful world of animation,” Aram Yacoubian, director of original animation at Netflix, said.