As of February 1st 2020, Netflix will be streaming Studio Ghibli’s outstanding back catalogue directly into your home! Studio Ghibli is probably the most well-known Japanese animation studio in the West. Founded by animators Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata Isao and producer Suzuki Toshio in 1985 after the success of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) which they made when they worked together at Top Craft Studio. Studio Ghibli has created many masterpieces including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle, but there are many more that you might not have heard of that are definitely worth watching.
The release schedule for the films is as follows:
February 1st 2020:
Laputa Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbour Totoro (1988), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Only Yesterday (1991), Porco Rosso (1992), Ocean Waves (1993), Tales from Earthsea (2006)
March 1st 2020:
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Princess Mononoke (1997), My Neighbours the Yamadas (1999), Spirited Away (2001), The Cat Returns (2002), Arrietty (2010), The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)
April 1st 2020:
Pom Poko (1994), Whisper of the Heart (1995), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008), From Up on Poppy Hill (2011), The Wind Rises (2013), When Marnie Was There (2014)
If you have young children and want to introduce them to a world outside of Disney and other western producers then films such as Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro are great introductions to the world of Ghibli. My niece watched Ponyo when she was two and still asks for it to be put on frequently, she is almost five now.
If you are introducing older children or teens to Ghibli films then I would start with one of the following: My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away (my favourite) and Howl’s Moving Castle are excellent places to start. Princess Mononoke is also amazing and older children and teens love it. It’s a bit more violent that the other films but is still rated a PG for home viewing.
I could go on about these films for ages but instead I recommend building up a stash of popcorn ready for your February adventures. I am beyond excited about this, these are not just films, they are experiences, that you can repeat over and over, again and again.