Netflix have announced 21 Studio Ghibli films will be coming to their platform from February 2020, worldwide outside of the United States, Canada, and Japan.
The announcement came via Twitter, tail-ended with the clarification that “For our international mates in the mentions…the films will be available on Netflix ANZ and globally (excluding the US, Canada and Japan).”
The absence of the US and Canda is most likely due to HBO Max acquiring the streaming rights for Studio Ghibli films back in October 2019. It now seems that this licencing was just in the US and Canada. For Japan, it is likely existing licences and deals prohibit Netflix from streaming those films.
Subsequent tweets revealed what films would come to Netflix at the start of the coming months. You can find them below:
February 1st: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Ocean Waves, and Tales from Earthsea.
March 1st: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns, Arrietty, and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya.
April 1st: Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, From Up on Poppy Hill, The Wind Rises, and When Marnie Was There.
In a prepared statement issued to Variety, Studio Ghibli Producer Toshio Suzuki explained how the “definitive decision” was motivated by fans.
“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.”
The studio had been previously infamous for refusing to distribute their work in digital format.
Back in October 2019, Polygon erroneously reported that Studio Ghibli films would not be coming to any streaming service, and seemingly using an older quote from GKIDs from 2018.
Image: Studio Ghibli (via HITC)