Streaming Wars: Netflix (Not Disney) Get Rights to Stream Studio Ghibli Films

in Entertainment, Movies

netflix studio ghibli

Credit: Studio Ghibli/Netflix

Netflix has made its next move in the ongoing streaming wars with Disney and other streaming services. The veteran streaming service just secured international streaming rights to a collection of Studio Ghibli films. Beginning on February 1, 2020, Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterpieces will be made available in their native Japanese with available subtitles.

Here are the details:

  • “When will Studio Ghibli films be available on Netflix?” The films will be made available in three waves. The first arrives on February 1, 2020. The second on March 1, 2020. The third, on April 1, 2020.
  • “What Miyazaki films will I get to watch?” 21 films will be made available in this order:
Howl's Moving Castle Blu-Ray Cover
Credit: Studio Ghibli
    • February 1, 2020
      • Castle in the Sky
      • My Neighbor Totoro
      • Kiki’s Delivery Service
      • Only Yesterday
      • Porco Rosso
      • Ocean Waves
      • Tales from Earthsea
    • March 1, 2020
      • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
      • Princess Mononoke
      • My Neighbors the Yamadas
      • Spirited Away
      • The Cat Returns
      • Arrietty
      • The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
    • April 1, 2020
      • Pom Poko
      • Whisper of the Heart
      • Howl’s Moving Castle
      • Ponyo
      • From Up on Poppy Hill
      • The Wind Rises
      • When Marnie Was There
  • “Will they be available in the U.S.?” Unfortunately, no. Netflix will stream their new collection globally except for the U.S., Canada, and its native Japan. However, Studio Ghibli announced in December that its films would be available for purchase across all North American platforms.
Studio Ghibli Logo
Credit: Studio Ghibli

Both Studio Ghibli and Netflix issued statements on the new partnership.

Producer Toshio Suzuki said,

“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.”

Director of original animation, Netflix, Aram Yacoubian, said:

“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.”

There are no official plans for when these films will be made available in North America.

Princess Mononoke
Credit: Studio Ghibli

Related: Studio Ghibli announces new ‘My Neighbor Totoro’-themed Ghibli Park, set to open in Japan

Speculation Time: “A smart international move or a wasted opportunity in the U.S.?”

Netflix will not host coveted Miyazaki films for subscribers in the U.S., Canada, or Japan. Yes, people are going to be upset. However, it makes sense for the streaming service to focus on solidifying their international markets.

Netflix has a global reach. But a long-term erosion has begun where it will lose rights to Disney-owned movies and other franchises like Harry Potter, and new services such as Disney+ continue to encroach on its territory. The veteran streaming service needs to find another brand to anchor itself to.

Also, there are significant time gaps in Disney+’s expansion plan. It won’t arrive in Western Europe until spring, and it won’t reach Latin America until the latter half of 2021. Because of that, the move with Studio Ghibli not only displays Netflix’s expedience but also makes it a political power move.

Kiki's Delivery Service
Credit: Studio Ghibli

Here’s how:

  • Netflix is seen putting the rest of the world first, as well as flexing its pre-established reach to its new competition.
  • Netflix is delivering a direct jab at Disney, who has a history of partnering with Studio Ghibli for its U.S. releases.

It will be exciting to see how Netflix’s new partnership plays out.

What do you think of Netflix’s new partnership with Studio Ghibli? Will the films be available in your country? Let us know in the comments!

Source: TheIndependent; Variety

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