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How to Watch Every Studio Ghibli Film From Anywhere

Spirited Away – An Oscar-winning 2003 anime, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only. WHSR does not in any way or form condone nor encourage the use of VPNs as a means of violating copyright or other laws.

If you’re a diehard anime fan, you’d unquestionably have come across the great Hayao Miyazaki and the acclaimed Studio Ghibli. The creatives at the renowned Japanese animation Studio Ghibli swore off expanding beyond physical packages to the digital realm. However, in early 2020, the collection from Studio Ghibli finally entered the digital space for the first time.

Watching Studio Ghibli Films on Streaming Platforms

HBO Max and Netflix have signed deals in 2020 that allow them to stream the company’s films. As such, many clap their hands in glee, as this collection of critically-lauded, record-breaking hits from the Japanese animation powerhouse are now available online. 

Unfortunately, Netflix has exclusive streaming rights to all territories except the USA, Canada, and Japan. On the other hand, HBO Max serves the North American market only.

How to Watch Every Studio Ghibli Film on Netflix From Anywhere


Netflix is the great-granddaddy in the market and remains the best streaming service. They provide unlimited streaming of TV series, documentaries, movies, comedy specials, and original shows. As of late, Netflix has been inching towards broadcasting more of its originals. 

The success of Netflix exclusives such as “The Witcher” and “Bridgerton” motivated Netflix to push up their subscription fees. Also, they have a massive library of children's series, making it a good choice for families in need of all-ages entertainment.

There are three paid plans, namely Basic, Standard, and Premium. The difference in their pricing is determined by whether you need extra quality features such as HD and Ultra HD. Netflix supports the latest video and audio formats, including 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos. Unfortunately, they charge extra for such features. 

Studio Ghibli Films Available on Netflix

Due to licensing rights, Netflix can stream Studio Ghibli films in certain countries only. You’ll be able to watch the following Studio Ghibli films on Netflix:

  • Castle in the Sky
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Only Yesterday
  • Porco Rosso
  • Ocean Waves
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • Nausicaa 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

For those living in the USA, Canada, and Japan – you’ll not be able to enjoy them due to geoblocks put in place by Netflix. However, there are ways to circumvent this and access all Studio Ghibli films on Netflix – with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

A VPN is a great software tool that you can use to protect your privacy and secure your data. It helps mask your IP address and stops others from tracking your internet activity without your permission. 

VPNs also have the handy feature of bypassing geo-restrictions. That’s what will help you access Studio Ghibli films on Netflix. The VPN cons Netflix into thinking that you’re accessing from a country where they can broadcast those films.

One of the best VPN brands for streaming and bypassing geo-blocks is Surfshark. Although a little new, it’s proven reliable and fast, ideal for the purpose. To demonstrate how to get access to Studio Ghibli films online, we’ll be using Surfshark.

Using Surfshark to Access Studio Gibli Films On Netflix

If you happen to try accessing Studio Ghibli films on Netflix and find that you can’t, follow the following steps: 

Step 1. Grab a Surfshark Plan

Surfshark Homepage (visit)

Sign up for a Surfshark plan. It’s one of the most value-packed options in the market, with the two-year plan costing as little as $2.21/mo.

Visit Surfshark Online.

Step 2. Download and Install the App

Download the Surfshark VPN app for your device. They have a variety of apps available for almost all platforms, be it PC, Mac, or mobile devices. Once you’ve downloaded the app, install it following the on-screen instructions.

Step 3. Clear Your Netflix Cache

This step isn’t mandatory but recommended. Netflix sometimes caches your past location data. So, to make sure you get to watch Studio Ghibli films on Netflix seamlessly, with no issues, you should clear your cache first.

Step 4. Launch Surfshark

Launch the app and log in using your Surshark credentials. Next, select the region of connection in the VPN app – you need to connect to the UK, Canada, or Australia to access Netflix’s Studio Ghibli films library.

Step 5. Launch Netflix

Login to Netflix and search for Studio Ghibli films. Enjoy!

Other Popular Streaming Platforms With Studio Ghibli Films

If Netflix isn’t your platform of choice, don’t worry, Studio Ghibli Films are available on others. Again, due to distribution rights, you can only access them in certain regions. As such, you have to use a VPN to bypass those geo-restrictions.

1. HBO Max

HBO Max is the premium service for fans of prestige television, iconic films, and the latest movie releases. You can find everything you did on HBO here too. Watch hit shows like Friends, Game of Thrones, Sesame Street, and Studio Ghibli films. 

There are two paid plans available. The cheaper plan is at $9.99/month, and this comes with ads; you won’t get Warner Bros movies that premiere the same day as theatres, though. 

The $14.99/month plan comes ad-free with Warner Bros movies that premiere the same day as theatres. Some say that HBO Max adds more to the table than Netflix. However, there’ll be some die-hard Netflix fans who disagree vehemently. 

HBO Max lacks educational content for young children, but there are still enough fantastic shows to satisfy kids for a few hours a day. HBO Max’s downside is technology-related as it doesn't support much 4K or HDR content yet. 

All in all, HBO Max is a solid choice as a streaming platform for prestige shows and films, day-and-date streaming for Warner Bros, collections from Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Sesame Street, and more. 

Take note that HBO Max serves Studio Ghibli content to the North American market only. The list of Studio Ghibli films that you can find on HBO Max is the same as that available on Netflix. 

2. Hulu

Hulu remains one of the most affordable streaming options available, with lots of choices. So, if you’re into TV shows binging and yet wish to not dig deep into your pockets, Hulu could be your answer. Hulu provides access to most major network shows (aside from CBS' programs), and several cable shows the day after they air. 

The cheapest plan at $6.99/month means you’ll have to sit through commercials. You can opt for the higher plan at $12.99/month to enjoy uninterrupted shows with no ads. If you’re into live TV, especially CBS shows, you can opt for the Hulu + Live TV package at $64.99/month. You can also choose to go for the add-ons, but these come with additional fees.

Hulu undoubtedly excels in their impressive TV show library of any on-demand streaming service, yes, even better than Netflix. That said, its choice of original shows isn't quite as notable as some of its competitors. 

Although Hulu supports 4K and HDR streaming, it is only on selected devices; its 4K lineup is limited. Also, the two-device limit can be a bummer for most families. 

Take note that Isao Takahata’s gut-wrenching adaptation of Akiyuki Nosaka’s wartime short story “Grave of the Fireflies” is the one movie you can’t find on HBO Max or Netflix. However, you can see this movie on Hulu though. 

3. Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Video is included with Amazon Prime; it is a capable, competitive streaming service that's more than just a Prime membership perk. This service is provided for free with membership. However, if you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you can still subscribe to this service on its own for only $9/month. 

You can also rent or buy any film available on home video for your collection and watch with the Prime Video app whenever you like; this is a feature that most subscription streaming apps do not have.

Amazon Prime Video offers an excellent buffet of movies, television, and original programming. Its biggest hit, The Boys, already has its spinoff announced. Thanks to Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon, you can find lots of comedy and children’s shows.

This service offers up to 4K streaming with support for HDR10+ playback on selected titles. However, its library still lacks in comparison to others. 

Amazon Prime debuted Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, a Studio Ghibli film directed by Gorō Miyazaki. This series is based on the fantasy book by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.

4. Disney Plus

Without a doubt, Disney Plus remains the fastest-growing streaming service on the market, having amassed 116 million subscribers worldwide in 2021. It’s not surprising since Disney Plus is already a dominant player in the market, owning several top-hit properties, from Marvel to Star Wars, to Disney's animated canon, to The Simpsons, and counting.

On this note, Disney Plus is very compelling in its vast catalog of existing Disney and Pixar movies and shows. They have some original films and series. However, they cannot compare to the lineup offered on Netflix. 

By paying $7.99/month, you gain access to unlimited entertainment with Disney Plus. This is a pretty good deal, especially with no ads. Simply put, Disney Plus is a solid option when it comes to the best combination of an endless supply of family-friendly entertainment titles, streaming quality, and value. Also, most of their content is available in 4K resolution with HDR color palettes. 

Also read – How to watch Disney Plus with a VPN

Studio Ghibli in a Nutshell

Studio Ghibli Homepage.

Studio Ghibli, based in Tokyo, is a Japanese animation studio co-founded in 1985 by director Hayao Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and the late director Isao Takahata. Studio Ghibli has left an indelible footprint on the cinematic landscape through highly imaginative, morally complex, and humanistic films.

They have produced feature films and TV commercials and worked on visual elements for video games. The company has many accolades; five of the studio's films were among the ten highest-grossing anime feature films made in Japan. 

“Spirited Away” ranked number two, grossing over $380 million at the worldwide box office. “Princess Mononoke” came in at number four, raking in $177.7 million.

My Neighbor Totoro – Official Trailer

Spirited Away – Official Trailer

Princess Mononoke – Official Trailer

Many of their works are highly acclaimed, having won the Animage Grand Prix award. Four of their works have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, while five received Academy Award nominations. The much-applauded “Spirited Away” won the 2002 Golden Bear and the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Their iconic characters, namely the floofy Totoro, the mystifying Kaonashi, and the high-spirited Kiki, all have lush personalities in hand-drawn universes that inspire many to think of what's possible, rather than just what's marketable. 

It is no wonder that many believe that Studio Ghibli helped make anime mainstream worldwide with such timeless tales of fantasy, war, romance, and coming-of-age stories. Many were delighted that Studio Ghibli anime films are now available online. 


For decades, Studio Ghibli has produced many breathtakingly beautiful and meaningful movies that have captured and inspired audiences of all ages. Such groundbreaking and beloved films have masterful storytelling and stunning visuals. As such, it is no wonder many want to watch them.

Unfortunately, due to distribution rights by regions, many are not able to watch them. The easiest way to overcome this is to use a trusted and reputable VPN to bypass such geo-restrictions. By doing so, you’ll be able to watch Studio Ghibli’s masterpieces with a massive grin on your face.

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Article by Jason Chow

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