If you’re not yet familiar with Studio Ghibli movies, get ready for some memorable movie nights. And if their movies are already amongst your family favourites, then you’re really in for a treat! Netflix are adding 21 enchanting Studio Ghibli films over the next 3 months, including some of our favourites that you’re sure to love!
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We first came across Studio Ghibli films some years ago when our kids were about 7 and 10, and we were blown away by them. The animation is unlike anything you’ve seen on Disney or other Western animation studios. The stories are unusual and the characters are quirky, creating something really unique. If you’re not familiar with the movies, I would highly recommend them!
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About Studio Ghibli
Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio best know for anime feature films. Founded in 1985, it has gone on to win awards with five of the studio’s films nominated for Academy Awards.
With a band of talented directors, animators, and storytellers under the revered brilliance of Takahata and Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli films have been praised for their originality, dazzling animation, and epic storytelling.
Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature of 2002, and in 2005 Miyazaki was named one of “the most influential people” by TIME Magazine.
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Studio Ghibli Films on Netflix
According to Netflix, the films will arrive in three batches, with the first round arriving on February 1st. My Neighbor Totoro is a great starting place if you’ve never watched a Studio Ghibli film before.
21 films. February 1st. pic.twitter.com/hnyhujRAnM
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) January 20, 2020
Films arriving on 1st February:
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)
The second batch of Studio Ghibli films on Netflix arrive on March 1st:
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)
And finally, on April 1st, the last set of films will appear, including one of our family’s favourites, Howl’s Moving Castle:
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)
Fans in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America will be able to enjoy films from the Academy Award®-winning Japanese art house behind Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro.
(If you’re reading this in USA, then HBO has the streaming rights to Studio Ghibli’s catalogue in the United States as part of a deal with GKIDS.)
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Which Studio Ghibli Films Should You Watch With Kids?
All of the Studio Ghibli films are family-friendly, but I would recommend starting with these four:
My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro tells the story of two girls, Satsuki and Mei, who have moved with their father to a new house in the countryside, while their mother recovers from illness in a nearby hospital.
They discover they share their home with some unusual creatures and even stranger neighbours including a rather large forest guardian that the girls call Totoro. When trouble occurs, their new friends will help them rediscover hope.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki’s Delivery Service is the adorable story of Kiki, a young witch and her black cat Jiji. It is tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon to learn their craft. That night comes for Kiki, who follows her dream and embarks on the experience of a lifetime.
So Kiki flies off with Jiji to find the perfect spot in a faraway city. There, a bakery owner befriends Kiki and helps her start her own business: A high-flying delivery service.
Five-year-old Sosuke lives by the sea. One morning, while playing on the rocky beach below his house, he discovers a goldfish he names Ponyo, her head stuck in a jam jar. Sosuke rescues Ponyo and keeps her in a green plastic bucket.
Both Ponyo and Sosuke are fascinated by each other and promise to stay firm friends until Ponyo’s father, a sorcerer who lives deep under the sea, forces her to return with him to the ocean depths. What follows is an amazing underwater adventure for all ages…
Howl’s Moving Castle
Based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of Sophie, an average teenage girl working in a hat shop. She finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. After this chance meeting she is turned into a 90-year-old woman by the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste.
Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl’s magical moving castle where she becomes acquainted with Markl, Howl’s apprentice, and a hot-headed fire demon named Calcifer. As the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, and his relationship with Sophie deepens, our young grey heroine finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world.
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Do you have a favourite Studio Ghibli film? Which one will you watch first on Netflix? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!