How to watch Studio Ghibli films online from anywhere

The first round of Studio Ghibli films made their way to Netflix back in February 2020, with more hitting every month after. In total there are 21 films that are now available on Netflix, with the most recent batch of them hitting on April 1, 2020. The films will be made available globally through a distribution partner Wild Bunch International, though this rollout will exclude some big markets where people will want to watch them.

For those not familiar, Studio Ghibli was founded back in 1985 by the directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, along with the producer Toshio Suzuki. It is a Japanese animation film studio that has produced feature films, shorts, TV commercials, and even worked with video game studios on visual elements for games. Six of the studio's films are among the 10 highest-grossing anime films from Japan, and the company has many other accolades. It's most successful title was Spirited Away, which made over $360 million worldwide and was voted the fourth-best film of the 21st century as picked by 177 film critics from around the world in 2016 and it won an Academy Award in 2003.

To have these movies make their way to streaming services like Netflix is huge, though this does come with some exceptions. Unfortunately, those in the U.S., Canada, and Japan won't be able to stream the films on Netflix easily because of agreements to bring the films to other services. Luckily, there are some ways around this if you're willing to put in a few minutes of your time to get it set up.

Watch Studio Ghibli films on Netflix from anywhere using a VPN

If you happen to live in the U.S., Canada, or Japan and want to stream the films via your Netflix subscription you can by setting up a VPN. There are a lot of VPN services out there, and one of the key features of a VPN is the ability to change the server location that you connect to. By doing this, you can make it appear like you are in a different location, and then you have access to the content you previously did not.

Our VPN of choice is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) for several reasons. The service is super reliable, the customer support is great, the speeds are fast, it's easy to use, and it's pretty affordable compared to some of the other options. ExpressVPN is currently offering up a 49% discount and 3 months of free access when you sign up for a one-year agreement. This scores you 15 months of access for just under $100.

Getting the VPN set up takes only a few minutes, and once you are ready you can connect to a server in one of the regions where Studio Ghibli's films are available, like Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, or Asia. With just a few clicks, you can then begin streaming the content and catch up on the 21 films as they're available.

Another option in the U.S.

HBO Max is now official, and that's another great way to watch Studio Ghibli films in the United States. The streaming service is available like others with a monthly subscription and holds all of the same films that the international versions of Netflix have. You can sign up for HBO Max (opens in new tab) via your Hulu plan or on its own if you aren't a Hulu subscriber.

You can get a free one-week trial of both right now, and then Hulu starts at $5.99 per month and HBO Max is $14.99 per month.

When will Studio Ghibli movies be available on Netflix?

All of the Studio Ghibli movies that are coming to Netflix have already been released on the service. The titles began appearing on February 1, 2020, and the latest batch arrived in March 2020. Below is a full list of the movies that you can now stream with Netflix.

Which Studio Ghibli movies can you watch on Netflix?

  • Castle in the Sky
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Kiki's Delivery Service
  • Only Yesterday
  • Porco Rosso
  • Ocean Waves
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Princess Mononoke
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas
  • Spirited Away
  • The Cat Returns
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
  • Pom Poko
  • Whisper of the Heart
  • Howl's Moving Castle
  • Ponyo
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • The Wind Rises
  • When Marnie Was There

Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most notable omissions here because Studio Ghibli does not actually hold the publishing rights to the film. Netflix will be subtitling the films in 28 different languages, which is more than ever existed before. If you aren't already a Netflix customer, you can sign up now so you're ready to go when the movies hit!

In addition to the Studio Ghibli films, Netflix has a huge content library full of other great anime, movies, shows, and more. Sign up today. (opens in new tab)
In addition to the Studio Ghibli films, Netflix has a huge content library full of other great anime, movies, shows, and more. Sign up today.

We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).

2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.
5 Comments
  • I would love to rewatch the movies. Probably Howls Moving Castle is the last one I watched it, few years after it came out. Also, really appreciate the "phases" that you've written, gives an idea about how much time I'll have to spend. The only indifference with this article but I have had NordVPN for a looong time and I'll try to use them instead of Express. NordVPN works with everything on Netflix so probably will work with this too. Thank you!
  • Grave of the fireflies had me in tears.
  • I have most of these on my phone right now, and have seen all of them except for three. Just watched Porko Rosso a couple days ago, lol.
  • I'm surprised they are airing The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. Is it censored? I don't feel it needs to be, but some parents may want to preview it and prepare for any questions their kids may have. Only thing I didn't like is the ending, which made me wish she had been set free to return to a normal life.
  • Hi! You can use Opera browser for a free VPN. I just tried it and set my VPN to Europe, and Netflix shows the Studio Ghibli films. It's great! All you have to do is install the Opera browser, and then go to Settings. Go to advanced settings, and tap the switch to enable VPN. You still need to turn on the VPN though. You'll see a new "VPN" button on the address bar. Click on it to turn it on the VPN, and I think you'll have to choose your virtual location as Europe. It's so cool that it's free and really fast!