Before everyone gets in a tizzy, I’ve got some good news and bad news. Good news is if you live anywhere outside the United States, Canada or Japan, the 21 Studio Ghibli films ARE coming to Netflix. Those of you sighing in relief may wish to take a moment to celebrate. Any American, Canadian or Japanese reader may be biting their nails because here comes the bad news: if you live in the United States, Canada or Japan, the 21 Studio Ghibli films are NOT coming to Netflix.
Yes, it’s agonizing for those of us that live in the States, Canada or Japan. And while it’s hard not to be a little envious of friends around the globe, I’ll do my best not to cross my arms, stomp my feet and pout.
Keep in mind, Studio Ghibli movies won’t hit the streaming service all at once. Fans wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. It’d be chaos. Instead, Netflix is set to make the 21 Studio Ghibli movies available in three controlled bursts. Seven movies will be added the next three months starting February 1st.
The February lineup is listed below:
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 March lineup is listed below:
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) | Princess Mononoke (1997) | My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) | Spirited Away (2001) | The Cat Returns (2002) | Arrietty (2010) | The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)
The April lineup is listed below:
Pom Poko (1994) | Whisper of the Heart (1995) | Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) | Ponyo (2008) | From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) | The Wind Rises (2013) | When Marnie Was There (2014)
Let’s take a look at some of Studio Ghibli’s classic animated movies. If you’re new to Studio Ghibli and are unsure of where to start, the first two might be the warmest waters to dip your toe into.
This title is probably the most recognizable. Ears uninterested still tingle and twitch with familiarity at the sound of its name. In 2003, Spirited Away became the first hand-drawn animated picture to win an academy award for Best Animated Feature.
It is that good.
The story follows Chihiru and her parents who stumble upon an abandoned amusement park. Hungry and aroused by exquisite smells of a feast prepared for seemingly no one, Chihiru’s parents sit down and eat. The more they eat the faster they start to be mysteriously morphed into pigs.
Chihiru is lead to safety by a boy named Haku. He tells her that this place is a haven for wearied spirits in need of a break from other realms. The only way for Chihiru to survive and free herself and her parents is to work for the bathhouse run by a witch.
The epic tale takes us on numerous adventures with the strangest characters you’ll ever meet in film. Spirited Away is a story of resilience. Chihiru is a prisoner, but the friends she makes along the way make it hard to imagine her walking away forever without a tear coming to your eye.
Beautiful imagery will stun you. And to think it’s all hand-drawn will leave you stunned again.
Castle In the Sky
How would you react if you saw a young girl falling from the sky and caught her mid-flight? Probably not as well as Pazu. The young girl named Sheeta fell from her captor’s airship after being attacked by pirates. The crystal around her neck held her gently through the air and returned her safely to the ground. But by no means is Sheeta and now Pazu safe from what’s to come.
The air pirates and Sheeta’s captors are both in search of the place she originates: a mythical castle in the sky called Laputa. Believed to be a sort of El Dorado, a city of treasure troves and worldly secrets. The pirates want gold. Muska wants power. Laputa is said to have been the source of the raining fires that hailed down and destroyed Sodom and Gomorra. An unwieldy power human hands have rarely touched.
Sheeta and Pazu embark on a journey to find the floating castle before Muska or the pirates find it first.
Much like Spirited Away, Castle In the Sky will leave you stunned by its beauty. An endless barrage of action and slap-stick humor will grip you from the beginning, but when the legendary castle is discovered above the clouds, you’ll be gripped by a brand new fascination. Unmistakable beauty marked with heavenly flare. You might drool. Laputa has that effect.
If only it had an Air BnB.
My Neighbor Totoro
A classic, no doubt, but probably not digestible by newcomers. My Neighbor Totoro captures the fun of childhood play along with the expansive imagination that comes with the age.
These two sisters aren’t so bummed to move to the country. Despite them moving to be close to their sick mother, they find new friends in the spirits inhabiting the forest around their home.
Goofy and innocent, the spirits make for good companions. My Neighbor Totoro will have you giggling and smiling, wondering how you might have reacted to seeing these spirits as a kid. Almost like secret guardians, Totoro and fellow spirits keep the children safe and look after them when needed.
Heartfelt and warm. You can’t go wrong with My Neighbor Totoro. And the best part, this film is one of the 21 Studio Ghibli movies coming to Netflix.
Studio Ghibli produced masterpiece after masterpiece. These films redefined cartoon animations. With hand-drawn techniques, Studio Ghibli managed to capture a human element now seemingly lost in cartooning. We are forever grateful and can’t wait to binge them all over again on Netflix.
What’s your favorite Studio Ghibli film? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @Honeypop!
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Featured Image Source: IMDB @MyNeighborTotoro