Some of the most acclaimed films in animation history are finally available to rent online.
GKIDS, the animation specialist distributer, has released the catalog of acclaimed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli starting Tuesday. 22 films from the studio — including Oscar winner “Spirited Away” and nominees such as “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “When Marnie Was There” — will be made available to rent on all major digital platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon VOD, Vudu, Google Play and Microsoft. The films will be be priced at $4.99 per title, and all will be available in HD, with most being offered in the original Japanese language as well as English dubs.
The news marks the first time that Ghibli’s films have been made available via digital rental. The catalogue has been one of the pillars of GKIDS’ business since the distributer acquired the North American film distribution rights to the studio’s films in 2011, followed by the home media rights in 2017 — previously, the majority of Studio Ghibli films were distributed via the Walt Disney Company. Since 2017, GKIDS has partnered with Fathom Events to host a series of limited run screenings of the studio’s films throughout the year. The catalog was made available for digital purchase in 2019, and GKIDS has an exclusive deal to stream the films in the United States on HBO Max, where they have been included since 2020.
Established in 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli is one of the most acclaimed movie studios in the world, with many of its films and characters reaching iconic status inside Japan and abroad. Four of their films — “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Ponyo” and “Princess Mononoke” — are among the 10 highest grossing Japanese-produced films of all time. The GKIDS catalog includes the majority of films released by the company, with the exception of acclaimed war film “Grave of the Fireflies,” due to its distribution rights belonging to Shinchosha Publishing instead of the studio. The selection also includes Miyazaki’s “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” which was released the year before the studio was founded but was acquired by the company later.
Here’s the full list of Studio Ghibli films available to rent:
“Castle in the Sky”
“The Cat Returns”
“Earwig and the Witch”
“From Up on Poppy Hill”
“Howl’s Moving Castle”
“Kiki’s Delivery Service”
“My Neighbor Totoro”
“My Neighbors the Yamadas”
“Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”
“The Secret World of Arrietty”
“The Tale of The Princess Kaguya”
“Tales from Earthsea”
“When Marnie Was There”
“Whisper of the Heart”
“The Wind Rises”