UPDATE: GKids has now announced that Ghibli is now planning to finally stream their films in HBO Max exclusively.
Streaming services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and of course, Netflix, have slowly been adding more to their Japanese animation library through the years. Neflix has been the most aggressive so far, even paying for certain anime to be created as Netflix exclusives. However, there’s still one animation studio out there that’s vehemently opposing the streaming trend, and unfortunately, it’s Studio Ghibli. It looks like we won’t get to see My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, and all the other Ghibli classics in these streaming services any time soon. This is because GKids, which distributes Ghibli films in North America, has reported that they don’t plan on releasing their films digitally.
A GKids representative has told Polygon that “Studio Ghibli does not make their films available digitally, whether for download or streaming, anywhere in the world”. They also added that They continue to believe that presentation is vital and particularly appreciate opportunities for audiences to experience the films together in a theatrical setting.”
Hayao Miyazaki is an old school guy, and this decision is quite characteristic for him. After all, he once said that he’s a man of the 20th Century, and he doesn’t want to get involved with 21st Century stuff. For now, we would have to settle for Blu-ray and DVD releases of Ghibli films, as well as the rare theatrical re-screenings.
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