Studio Ghibli films to be released on Netflix UK
Staff Reporter | On 20, Jan 2020Reading time: 5 mins
Studio Ghibli is officially coming to Netflix UK, with almost the entire Japanese anime studio’s catalogue available to stream this spring.
21 films from Academy Award-winning art house will be made available on the service in the UK, through a new deal with distribution partner Wild Bunch International. For the first time ever, this expansive catalogue of Studio Ghibli films will be subtitled in 28 languages, and dubbed in up to 20 languages. This partnership will enable fans in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America to enjoy beloved classics, including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Arrietty, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, among others, in their native languages.
The deal has been a long time coming, with Studio Ghibli not releasing its movies digitally previously in the UK – with the exception of Grave of the Fireflies, a title that is notably not included in Netflix’s deal but is available to buy and rent online. Some titles have also previously streamed on Film4, while Ghibli TV series Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter is available with Amazon Prime.
Producer Toshio Suzuki at Studio Ghibli says: “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.”
Vincent Maraval, Chief Executive Officer at Wild Bunch International, adds: “In finding the best digital partner for Studio Ghibli, our most valuable and faithful collaborators for 20 years, the Netflix team convinced us with their consistent love and energy for finding the best ways to promote the incredible and unique catalogue worldwide with respect to the Studio Ghibli philosophy.”
Aram Yacoubian, Director of Original Animation at Netflix, comments: “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.”
The films will arrive on the service in three batches:
1st February 2020
Castle in the Sky (1986)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Only Yesterday (1991)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Ocean Waves (1993)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
1st March 2020
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
Spirited Away (2001)
The Cat Returns (2002)
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)
1st April 2020
Pom Poko (1994)
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
The Wind Rises (2013)
When Marnie Was There (2014)
Ghibli go digital: Studio Ghibli release films on UK iTunes in run-up to Miyazaki Blu-ray box set
26th November 2014
Studio Ghibli have released their first films digitally in the UK.
Digital platforms and discs have always been considered distinctly separate by certain movie collectors, as a disc is something that can be owned, whereas a digital purchase gives viewers the ability to watch a title through a specific platform, for as long as that platform exists and holds a licence for that content.
While technology and the market continue to move towards streaming as the future, therefore, Blu-rays have emerged as the vinyl of film: a physical item to be treasured.
It’s a view that Studio Ghibli appeared to share, never released any of its films on VOD in the UK, despite a growing catalogue of DVD and Blu-ray releases through Studiocanal. Now, though, Ghibli has gone digital, releasing two of their titles on iTunes: Isao Takahata’s tragic masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies and Hayao Miyazaki’s charming directorial debut, The Castle of Cagliostro.
The unexpected move arrives in the run-up to a new Blu-ray box set of Miyazaki’s movies, which is released in the UK on Monday 8th December.
Following the recent news of Miyazaki’s retirement from feature film production, it brings together all 11 of the director’s feature movies, from Castle of Cagliostro through to The Wind Rises. Alongside the individual features comes a bonus disc with the full 90-minute press conference Miyazaki gave announcing his retirement and looking back on his career, plus a specially commissioned booklet.
The collection, which is the stuff of Christmas present dreams for fans, is the first time Studio Ghibli have allowed their feature films to be released in this way.
The iTunes release, though, is an equally big first step for the studio. The two films are not available on any other digital platform, although for collectors looking for longevity of ownership, Apple’s dominance in the technology market suggests that it is arguably the most stable VOD platform around.
Will Studio Ghibli release more films on VOD (or on more platforms)? It’s not outside the realm of possiblity: the decision to release Miyazaki’s first film, particularly in the run-up to the new box set, feels like an apt start to a series, while the inclusion of Grave of the Fireflies suggests a broader scope of distribution than merely the Hayao Miyazaki titles.
If they are, it will be a slow process. Spirited Away was released on Blu-ray this week – the last of the Miyazaki titles to be released in high-definition in the UK – but the film is not currently scheduled for an iTunes release.
When contacted for comment, we were only told that it “used to be against Studio Ghibli policy” to make titles available digitally. Either way, we’ll keep you posted on any new Ghibli digital releases as and when we learn more.
What is clear, though, is that while Hayao has hung up his beard, Studio Ghibli is still looking for new ways to reach audiences. For those keen to watch – or re-watch – Ghibli films, whether it is through the Internet or a Blu-ray player, this winter just got a little bit more magical.
For more Miyazaki magic on VODzilla.co, come back tomorrow …
What Studio Ghibli films are available on VOD in the UK?
Bookmark this page for a list of Studio Ghibli films available to watch online in the UK, which will be regularly updated.
Grave of the Fireflies
The Castle of Cagliostro