I remember reading an article last October on HBO Max acquiring the rights to Studio Ghibli movies. I immediately texted a friend of mine who handles PR/marketing for HBO here in Malaysia and asked her if we’ll be getting it too. Alas, the answer was a resounding no, much to my disappointment.
That said, I certainly have a big fat smile on my face right now. It’s just been announced that all Studio Ghibli animated feature films will be available to stream on Netflix outside of the US and Japan, from February onwards. Yes, this means that it will be available on Netflix Malaysia as well. The films will be screened in their original language — Japanese — with subtitles.
Netflix will upload 21 Ghibli animes including Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro and Oscar-winning Spirited Away. The HBO Max and Netflix move will come as a surprise to many as Ghibli has for many years turned down the idea of releasing their acclaimed films on digital and streaming platforms.
In a statement, Producer Toshio Suzuki at Studio Ghibli 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.