In a surprising move from the legendary animation masters, the entire Studio Ghibli catalogue of films will be available on Netflix starting next month (February). Up until the last few months, the decision to not release Studio Ghibli films on streaming platforms seemed impossible. Studio Ghibli has remained hesitant to add its catalogue of films to any of the leading streaming services. However, a few months ago they signed a deal to have that beautiful back catalogue housed on HBO Max. Now, the rest of the world can enjoy the wonders of Studio Ghibli via a new deal with Netflix.
As HBO Max will be the exclusive home for Studio Ghibli in North America, the Netflix deal is for international subscribers. In other words, if you don’t live in America and have Netflix, you’ll be getting access to all the Studio Ghibli you can handle. Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki put it best in an officially released 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.”
It’s a big step for a studio that has fought to preserve the cinematic experience of all their titles. Does it make me feel deeply sad at the thought of someone watching Spirited Away on their phone? Yes, way more than it should. However, the positive take-home here is that millions of people now have the chance to enjoy more than 20 amazingly unique motion pictures crafted with love. We’ll have to wait and see which service gets the first stream rights to How Do I Live?, but that’s a worry for another day.
Netflix’s director of original animation, Aram Yacoubian, added;
“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.”