2020-01-21 04:34:30 UTC
Studio Ghibli: Netflix buys rights to iconic animated films
Next month 21 films from the legendary Studio Ghibli are
coming to Netflix.
It means new people will be introduced to "the ultimate
escapism" of Studio Ghibli's films - up until now they've
only been available on DVD or illegally.
Some of its most famous films include the Oscar-winning
Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, and Howl's Moving
"It will really give people the chance to enjoy a lot of
classics that they may not know about but are famous in the
anime world," says Sarah Taylor, whose heart has "been with
Ghibli" since she was 16 years old.
If you aren't familiar, Studio Ghibli is a Japanese
animation film studio founded in 1985 by animators Miyazaki
Hayao and Takahata Isao.
They are best known for their anime feature films.
"I believe in the power of story. I believe that stories
have an important role to play in the formation of human
beings, that they can stimulate, amaze and inspire their
listeners," Miyazaki Hayao said in a 2002 interview.
So what does this mean to fans?
We spoke to three Studio Ghibli superfans who couldn't
contain their excitement after hearing the announcement.
Sarah Taylor was first introduced to the films by her
"I saw some artwork on her wall and I thought - 'What is
this? This is amazing'.
"She showed me the film and I was captivated, it really
showed me what Japanese life could look like with a
thrilling magical element on top," she tells Radio 1
"When I say I love anime people sort of roll their eyes a
bit unless they have seen some and understand it.
"People still think it's just cartoons, but they're grown-up
'It's the ultimate escapism'
We didn't have to look too far to find the next superfan:
Laura Bailey is a "massive anime fan" - and she's an
assistant producer at BBC 1Xtra, round the corner from us at
"It's great to have it on Netflix because people are really
getting introduced into anime and are going to be able to
watch the classic movies and understand what all the hype is
about," Laura says.
She says the traditional stereotype of someone who watches
anime is changing over time.
"I know a lot of rappers like AJ Tracey have spoken about
watching anime, I don't think it's like a weird or geeky
thing as much as it used to be when I was growing up," Laura
"It's the ultimate escapism, its like a Japanese Disney. It
will take you to a different world if you ever grew up with
A podcast... all about Studio Ghibli?
Yes, you heard it right. Jake Cunningham is co-host of the
Gibliotheque podcast - despite only watching his first Studio
Ghibli film only 18 months ago.
Each week for the podcast he's given a film to watch by his
superfan co-host, and has now watched them all.
"It's been such a humongous learning curve for me, I've loved
every aspect of it. These films are perfect.
"Before, you'd have to go out and buy the physical media, now
it's on Netflix. I can't wait to people to watch those films
because they are beautiful in themselves," he tells us.
"I just wish they'd announced this 18 months ago... it
probably would've saved us a bit of money!" Jake adds.
He recently visited Japan to record the podcast and went on a
hunt for a "particular Japanese poster" from a Studio Ghibli
"I think they are totally different to any other animation
studio out there, there is so much heart in all of them."
With the films now accessible to anyone with a Netflix account
outside of the US, Canada and Japan, Jake thinks lots of people
will see just how ahead of their time the Studio Ghibli
"They're promoting messages - like environmental comments and
self-identity - that I think Western studios are only getting
into 20 years later."