Netflix gains Studio Ghibli films rights


Ghibliuk’s Instagram account

A picture of the original poster for Studio Ghibli´s film, My Neighbour Totoro. This film will be one of the many coming to the U.S.A., Japan and Canada through Netflix.

Catherine Coppersmith, Staff Writer

Netflix has recently gained the rights to stream films created by the famous Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli.

“For the first time, the animated output of Japan’s Studio Ghibli is being made available on a streaming service, with Netflix beginning to serve up 21 of the movies in batches from 1 February,” wrote the BBC’s David Barnett.

Josh Hayes, who teaches American History through Film, said, “I’m sure they’ll make those films available through their streaming services [and] see if there is interest. If there is [interest], they might try and go out and influence the type of shows and films in their own production. Obviously if they’re going out and buying the rights to such a thing, they believe that it can be monetized in the west.”

Adrienne Tyler a writer for Screenrant, a website which is dedicated to reporting on films and TV shows, said, “The movies will be subtitled in 28 languages and dubbed in up to 20, and will be available to stream in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.”

Alexis Ochi, a junior who has watched Studio Ghibli films for most of her life, is happy about the films being included in Netflix. Ochi said, “It gives me an easier way to watch films because before I could only watch them on DVD, but now I can watch them more portably.”

All culture has fads and art that facilitates those trends or ideals. Hayes said, “There is this constant back and forth and there’s sort of a dichotomy that is always getting turned on its head because sometimes art is imitating life and sometimes life is imitating art, so sometimes the films are diffusing culture; but, sometimes the films are creating culture and the people diffuse it amongst themselves.”

Junior Alvin Cai, who is passionate about his love for Studio Ghibli films, said, “I think that the transfer of films is important because I don’t always want to see Disney movies because that’s the main type of animated movie for the west is from Disney or Pixar so seeing it from Studio Ghibli is a different take on animation.”

Major film corporations, such as Studio Ghibli, are allowing access to their films in streaming services to increase the amount of people that watch their movies. “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,” said producer Toshio Suzuki at Studio Ghibli in a statement to the press.

Gretchen Zito, a freshman who has a deep love for Studio Ghibli films, thinks it helps with accessibility. Zito said, “I think it’s better for a lot of people who don’t have a DVD player in their home and when I started to get into them they weren’t on Netflix so my brother had to go out and buy a bunch. It’s much easier for the people who just have Netflix and nothing else.”

Hayes believes that films as well as other types of art are key in making sure that cross cultural interaction happens. Hayes said, “[Films] certainly expose people to lifestyles and types of cultures that they might not have ever come in contact with personally. But, they get to come into contact with it in an artistic format even if its meant to be a realistic interpretation its still someones artistic interpretation once they put it to film.”

Cai is frustrated with the films not being available in the United States. Cai said, “[Not having the films in the U.S. is] Un-freaking believable, I’m sad. You know maybe with enough fan support then maybe they would be willing to give those rights.”