It’s been a slow and difficult process, but iconic Japanese anime house Studio Ghibli is still angrily moving into the modern age here in the United States. In 2019, the first Studio Ghibli movies became available to purchase digitally on digital movie platforms, ending the tyrannical reign of DVD box sets. Then, in 2020, the full library became available for streaming for the first time in the U.S. courtesy of HBO Max—a streaming service that was once exciting and new but is now a spooky ghost town.
Today, anime distributor GKids has opened up yet another way to see the Studio Ghibli movies: digital rentals! For everyone who wanted to see Porco Rosso but didn’t want to own it in any way and didn’t want to pay for HBO Max, you know have a way to see it without having to go to a Fathom Events screening or taking a trip to a different country! Of course, Porco Rosso is possibly the most underrated film in the entire canon, so you will want to own it once you rent it, but that’s on you.
Either way, 22 Studio Ghibli movies—all of them but Grave Of The Fireflies, which is tied up in a different rights agreement—are now available to rent for $5 on all of the big digital movie platforms (a press release from GKids specifically names Apple, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, and Microsoft). So, for the low price of $110, you can get all caught up on the Studio Ghibli movies before Hayao Miyazaki releases his latest “last” movie! (Though, if you’re paying that much, a DVD box set or an HBO Max subscription would both be cheaper in the long run.)
Speaking of HBO Max, if you, like us, are curious and pessimistic about that streaming service’s future, we did reach out to spokespeople for both GKids and HBO Max to see if this is a sign that the movies might soon leave the platform, but we have yet to hear back.