Photo Credit: Studio Ghibli/Netflix
Photo Credit: Studio Ghibli/Netflix

Established in 1985 by Japanese founders and animated film directors Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli has gone on to become one of the most well-recognised film studios in the world, producing 22 feature-length films which have attracted worldwide acclaim. Praised for originality, narrative, storytelling and performance, they've become a popular part of Japanese culture, as well as breaking down barriers across the globe.

In recent weeks, streaming service Netflix announced they would be bringing all but one of Studio Ghibli's releases to-date to their platform, with seven debuting in February, seven debuting in March and the final seven debuting in April.

The good news? February is here, and seven of Studio Ghibli's finest releases are now available to watch! Check out which films you can stream right away below:

Castle in the Sky (1986)

This steampunk fantasy was the first film from Studio Ghibli. It follows the adventures of a young boy and girl who are tasked with keeping a magical crystal away from a group of military agents, all whilst searching for a floating castle.

Since its release, it's won countless awards and accolades, earning strong influence on Japanese pop culture and inspiring a whole string of other films and media in the passing years.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Whether you've seen this movie or not, you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody who doesn't see some familiarity in the titular wood spirit. Totoro has become a household name, with merchandise lurking in every corner!

The film itself follows two young daughters of a professor, who interact with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan. A genuinely touching piece of cinema.

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

Kiki is a young witch who puts her flying abilities to good use when she moves to a new town, earning a living whilst sitting atop her broom and delivering goods.

The movie is written, produced and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, adapting the novel of the same name by Eiko Kadono. He describes it as a portrayal of the gulf between independence and reliance in teenage Japanese girls.

Only Yesterday (1991)

Based on the 1982 manga of the same name by Hotaru Okamoto and Yuko Tone comes Only Yesterday, written and directed by Isao Takahata.

The movie is one of Studio Ghibli's most serious, realistic in its approach as it centres on unmarried 27-year-old Taeko Okajima, who has lived her whole life in Tokyo and now works at a company there. With a desire to do things differently, audiences can enjoy going on a trip like none other with the lead character.

Porco Rosso (1992)

This fan-favourite follows an Italian World War I ex-fighter, who now works as a freelance bounty hunter, taking out "air pirates" that plague the Adriatic Sea. There's just one problem... he's been cursed and turned into a pig!

Going by the name of Porco Rosso, he still works hard to bring the criminals to justice. An always-funny watch that never gets old.

Ocean Waves (1993)

Love triangles can be a messy affair, and that's certainly the case in Ocean Waves, where two good friends both become infatuated by a new girl who transfer to their high school.

Told in flashback following a chance meeting in later life that jogs the memory of Taku Morisaki, this isn't just your typical romantic flick, but one that really does stick with you for some time after watching.

Tales from Earthsea (2006)

Named after the collection of short stories first created in 2001, Tales from Earthsea is based on a combination of plot points and character elements from Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series, as well as Hayao Miyazaki's manga The Journey of Shuna.

Utterly different to Le Guin's books, it's definitely worth giving a chance if you haven't seen it before! There's even a film comic adaptation which was published in Japan you can try and pick up if you find yourself becoming a big fan.

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