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Media & Entertainment

Netflix wins streaming rights for Ghibli anime in 190 countries

Deal for 21 titles from famed Japanese studio excludes US, Canada and Japan

A still from "My Neighbor Totoro."   © 1988 Studio Ghibli

TOKYO -- U.S. video streaming giant Netflix has acquired the rights to distribute content in about 190 countries for 21 titles created by Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli.

The deal excludes the U.S., Canadian and Japanese markets.

Netflix's agreement with Ghibli reflects its desire to add popular Japanese animated works to its library. Until recently, Ghibli had been unenthusiastic about streaming. But the studio was apparently won over by Netflix's vast distribution network, which it feels will help increase awareness of the Ghibli brand.

"Studio Ghibli's animated films are legendary and have enthralled fans around the world for over 35 years," Netflix said in a statement. "We're excited to make them available in more languages across Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia -- so that more people can enjoy this whimsical and wonderful world of animation."

Ghibli has been wooed heavily by streaming services. WarnerMedia, a subsidiary of AT&T, offers Ghibli content in the U.S. via HBO Max, its video streaming service.

Netflix has scheduled seven titles for a Feb. 1 release, including "Tonari no Totoro" ("My Neighbor Totoro") and "Majo no Takkyubin" ("Kiki's Delivery Service").

Seven more, including "Mononokehime" ("Princess Mononoke") are set for a March 1 release while another seven, including "Hauru no Ugokushiro" ("Howl's Moving Castle"), will be released on April 1.

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