Some say that anime is responsible for “Kamehameha” screams during school breaks, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Case in point, Studio Ghibli not only stays true to their cultural roots but also raises the level of what one could expect from this sort of entertainment. Co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki, they release movies that are worth watching no matter you’re 4 or 40.
In the past, watching Studio Ghibli content was a hassle, especially if you weren’t based in Japan. Luckily, starting from February 1, 2020, their film collection will be available on Netflix. There is a catch, though. It will only be available in the UK and some other Netflix libraries. If you’re from the US or Japan, you’re out of luck as you will face geo-blocking issues – unless you’re using a VPN.
Watch Studio Ghibli movies on Netflix outside of UK with a VPN
The whole idea behind accessing geo-blocked content on Netflix is making the service think you’re from a different country (where the content is available). Studio Ghibli films are available on Netflix UK, thus you need a VPN with servers in the UK – the more the merrier.
The thing is, Netflix has been getting better at figuring out which users connect using a VPN and which are connecting directly. This means not all VPN providers can bypass Netflix blocks. With some, you will get that infamous “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy” error.
To watch Studio Ghibli films on Netflix, you’ll need a VPN that is confirmed to work.
Best VPN for watching Studio Ghibli films on Netflix
There are many VPNs to choose from in the market. If you want to stream Netflix, you’re going to need fast connection speeds to the VPN servers, many countries to choose from and security features. Most importantly, you need servers in countries where Studio Ghibli films are available.
NordVPN is our recommended service for Netflix, but you can check out our Best VPN for Netflix list for more choices.
Netflix libraries that have Studio Ghibli movies
It’s officially confirmed that Studio Ghibli movies will be available in these countries:
- Europe (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Turkey)
- Americas (Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela)
- Asia (Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong)
- Africa (Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, United Arab Emirates)
- Australia and New Zealand
If you didn’t find yours on this list, it’s a good chance to watch Studio Ghibli movies you’re going to need a VPN.
When will Studio Ghibli be available for US viewers
If you’re in the US, you may have to wait until May 2020 for the launch of HBO Max, which will have Studio Ghibli movies. However, you’re going to need a separate subscription for HBO Max, which makes little sense if you’re already paying for Netflix. If you get a VPN, not only will you no longer have to wait, but it will cost less, too.
Full list of Studio Ghibli movies available on Netflix
The release schedule for Studio Ghibli movies is as follows:
February 1, 2020:
- Castle in the Sky (1986),
- My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
- Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989),
- Only Yesterday (1991),
- Porco Rosso (1992),
- Ocean Waves (1993),
- Tales from Earthsea (2006)
March 1, 2020:
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984),
- Princess Mononoke (1997),
- My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999),
- Spirited Away (2001),
- The Cat Returns (2002),
- Arrietty (2010),
- The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)
April 1, 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)
What’s the deal with geo-blocking and Studio Ghibli movies?
Geo-blocking is a method used to control the availability of online content in different countries. Usually, this is done due to licensing rights conflicts – a platform like Netflix may have bought the license to distribute Studio Ghibli films in the UK, but not the US, for example. This also makes it impossible, for example, for Europeans to access Hulu.
Since HBO Max has secured the exclusive rights to distribute Studio Ghibli movies in the US, users get placed in the rough spot of having to wait until HBO Max launches (and pay for the service). VPNs are a consumer-friendly solution that helps to avoid paying for separate streaming subscriptions, especially when the content is freely available from content libraries in other countries.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.