Studio Ghibli movies come to Netflix, but Americans will need HBO Max

Netflix announced it has acquired the streaming rights to 21 different Studio Ghibli movies, including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and it’s most recent film When Marnie Was There. Well…for everywhere outside the United States, Canada, and Japan, that is.

The legendary Japanese animation studio broke from its longheld boycott of the digital movie industry last month when it announced it would finally offer digital download versions of its acclaimed films. It was at this same time HBO announced it had acquired the U.S. rights to Studio Ghibli’s library for its upcoming HBO Max subscription service, which set to launch this May.

For all the Netflix subscribers in Europe and elsewhere in the world, here is the complete list of Studio Ghibli films your eyes can look forward to. You’ll notice Netflix has chosen to spread the launch out over three different time periods to not cause any anime overdoses. (and maaaybe to maximize media coverage)

February 1st:

  • Castle in the Sky
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Ocean Waves
  • Only Yesterday
  • Porco Rosso
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Tales from Earthsea

March 1st:

  • Arrietty
  • The Cat Returns
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Spirited Away
  • The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

April 1st:

  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Pom Poko
  • Ponyo
  • When Marnie Was There
  • The Wind Rises
  • Whisper of the Heart

This represents every single film in Studio Ghibli’s 34 year history except for its second-ever release, the critically acclaimed Grave of the Fireflies (1986), which is the only film the studio did not self-produce and does not own the rights to.

Netflix also says it will self-produce several new dubbed versions of the films along with their release for various international audiences. You will of course still be able to watch them in their original Japanese with subtitles in your language of choice.

Ironically, we don’t know what the status is when it comes to Studio Ghibli’s streaming rights in Japan. Nor is it clear where Canadians might be able to stream these animated classics. While Bell’s CraveTV negotiated a deal for it to host HBO Max content north of the border, that will only apply to HBO’s own programming.

Our condolences to the North American Netflix-ers. You can’t win ’em all…

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