Few movie studios are as magical as Ghibli – the Japanese anime house behind some of the most stirring, heartfelt, wondrously imaginative animated films of all time. Originated by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, the films of Studio Ghibli are none more distinct – exploring the balance of man and nature, coming-of-age tales, spirit worlds, and the impact of war, with iconic (mostly female) heroes, gorgeous creature designs, and spine-tingling flight sequences. Now, whether you’ve previously dabbled in Ghibli’s works or you’re a complete novice, the studio’s grand catalogue is about to become a whole lot more accessible: Netflix has picked up the streaming rights outside of Japan and the USA/Canada. Yes, that means it’s coming to Netflix UK.
Beginning from February 1, (almost) the full catalogue will slowly become available – from the early days of Laputa: Castle In The Sky and beloved favourite My Neighbour Totoro, to Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s (for now) final Ghibli movie, When Marnie Was There. The only film that won’t be available is Takahata’s soul-shattering World War II drama Grave Of The Fireflies – you’ll still have to seek that one out on Blu-ray or DVD, if your heart can take it. But overall, the move to streaming is set to introduce whole new swathes of people to the Ghibli catalogue – which was previously only available on disc, unable even to be purchased digitally.
The first batch of Ghibli movies available from 1 February will be: Laputa: Castle In The Sky, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Ocean Waves, and Tales From Earthsea. The second batch will arrive on 1 March, consisting of: Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbours The Yamadas, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns, Arrietty, and The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya. The final batch will be streaming from 1 April, taking in: Pom Poko, Whisper Of The Heart, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, From Up On Poppy Hill, The Wind Rises, and When Marnie Was There.