Japan’s Studio Ghibli just keeps on surprising with its rapid move to digital.
In October last year, WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service HBO Max announced they had secured the U.S. streaming rights to 21 of the Studio Ghibli movies, essentially their entire feature catalogue (from “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” to “When Marnie Was There”) bar Isao Takahata’s masterpiece “Grave of the Fireflies” which is tied up at Hulu. The films were to be available to stream from the service’s launch around April this year.
Last month, GKids announced that Ghibli films would be available for digital purchase on all North American digital platforms and have since become available on the likes of iTunes and Amazon.
Now they’ve surprised again with the news that Netflix has acquired the global rights to the same catalogue as HBO Max so all the films will be coming to Netflix in Asia (excluding Japan), Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas (excluding where HBO Max’s deal is in place).
“Castle in the Sky,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Only Yesterday,” “Porco Rosso,” “Ocean Waves” and “Tales from Earthsea” all arrive February 1st.
Then “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,” “Princess Mononoke,” “My Neighbors the Yamadas,” “Spirited Away,” “The Cat Returns,” “The Secret World of Arrietty” and “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya” hit on March 1st.
Finally the remainder, “Pom Poko,” “Whisper of the Heart,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Ponyo,” “From Up on Poppy Hill,” “The Wind Rises” and “When Marnie Was There” all arrive April 1st.
As with HBO Max, Netflix’s deal doesn’t cover “Grave of the Fireflies” as Studio Ghibli doesn’t hold the publishing rights. Netflix is also subtitling the movies in 28 languages and providing new dubs for up to twenty languages.
Aram Yacoubian, director of original animation at Netflix, says in a statement: “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.”