Published Jan 20, 2020Netflix has obtained the global streaming rights to 21 Studio Ghibli movies, including My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and more. The films are scheduled to hit the platform next month — but not for customers in Canada, the U.S. or Japan.
Despite the films' global popularity, it appears they will decidedly not be available to North American or Japanese markets, as echoed by a statement from Netflix's director of original animation Aram Yacoubian.
"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," Yacoubian said in a statement. "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."
Toshio Suzuki, a Studio Ghibli producer, remains excited about the deal.
"In this day and age, there are various great ways a film can reach audiences," said Suzuki in a statement. "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."
American and Canadian audiences haven't been completely forgotten though — not yet at least.
Back in October, HBO Max secured a deal to obtain rights to Ghibli's catalogue. It appears the forthcoming service will have at least some presence in Canada through Crave, but so far, it is unclear if the streaming rights will extend to the Ghibli deal.
That deal came as a surprise, as Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki has often spoken out against allowing his films to be streamable in North America.
Ghibli films will arrive on Netflix on a monthly release schedule — outside of North America and Japan — on February 1, March 1 and April 1.