Imagine having access to all your favourite Studio Ghibli movies at your fingertips, ready to stream for your binge-watching pleasure. This dream is about to become a reality for millions of Netflix users worldwide as the streaming platform announced they are bringing 21 films by Japan's most beloved animation house starting next month (February 2020).
This amazing news sent the world into a frenzy as Netflix users who vowed to get rid of their subscription when it was announced that the popular sitcom 'Friends' was leaving the platform reconsidered staying for the animations that defined their childhood.
That said, we have some sad news. Netflix was unable to acquire the rights to stream the films in the US, Canada and Japan, so those of us residing in one of these countries might still have to watch Hayao Miyazaki's most popular films the old-fashioned way, ie purchase a DVD.
For the lucky ones living outside of North America and Japan, gone are the days of wistfully thinking about those VHS tapes of your favourite Ghibli movies in storage at your parents' house. Now you can rewatch your favourite films by the revered animator as well as a few titles you might not have seen yet, as Netflix is releasing the first wave of Ghibli titles on February 1.
The films that will be available from February are 'Castle in the Sky' (1986), 'My Neighbor Totoro' (1988), 'Kiki's Delivery Service' (1989), 'Only Yesterday' (1991), 'Porco Rosso' (1992), 'Ocean Waves' (1993) and 'Tales From Earthsea' (2006).
Then from March 1, viewers will also be able to watch 'Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind' (1984), 'Princess Mononoke' (1997), 'My Neighbors The Yamadas' (1999), 'Spirited Away' (2001), 'The Cat Returns' (2002), 'Arrietty' (2010) and 'The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya' (2013).
The third batch of films, to be released on April 1, are 'Pom Poko' (1994), 'Whisper Of The Heart' (1995), 'Howl's Moving Castle' (2004), 'Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea' (2008), 'From Up On Poppy Hill' (2011), 'The Wind Rises' (2013) and 'When Marnie Was There' (2014).
Don't despair if you don't have access to these films. There are still plenty of things to look forward to from Ghibli in the near future, including the Ghibli theme park as well as two new feature films that the studio will be working on throughout 2020.
Looking for more shows to watch on Netflix? Here are our favourite Japanese series and movies with English subtitles.