Netflix goes with Studio Ghibli, Disney Plus opts for the timeless classics, while HBO spins its Spider-Man saga web to draw us in

These days of home confinement, digital platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO have made some really great animation features available to subscribers. The goal here is not solely to entertain the younger members of the household in times of quarantine, but also to enable adults to disconnect, if only for a few hours, from the harsh reality.

First off, Netflix offers the best from Studio Ghibli. This April, they’ve added seven films from the Japanese studio: “Pom Poko”,  “Whisper of the Heart”, “Howl’s Moving Castle”, “Ponyo”, “From Up on Poppy Hill”, “The Wind Rises” and “When Marnie Was There.” With these additions, Netflix now has 21 Ghibli titles, among which are the more well-known “Spirited Away”, “Princess Mononoke” and “My Neighbor Totoro”.

A special mention goes out to the Netflix addition of “Klaus”, a Spanish animated feature based on the legend of Santa Claus toldthrough the eyes of Jesper, a postman who reluctantly finds himself on a distant island in the North pole. Last year, the movie was nominated for an Oscar and a Goya for Best Animated Feature, and this year it won the BAFTA award in the same category.

Next up we have Disney Plus, offering the all-time greatest Disney classics, including “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King”. Subscribers can even watch the remake of “The Lady and the Tramp”, which premiered last year. The service also offers viewers a choice of Pixar hits, including  “Toy Story” and “Up” and you can also enjoy “Coco”, a story inspired by the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead that reminds us of the value of family and friendship; a poignant and timely choice for the age of  coronavirus, and which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.

Finally, HBO has added four Spider-Man movies to watch during confinement: ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Spider-Man 2’, ‘Spider-Man 3’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro ‘. All of these join “The Amazing Spider-Man”, which was already available on the platform. HBO’s strong suit has never been animated features, but neither kids nor the majority of adults would ever thumb their noses at good old Spider-Man.

Barbara Padilla.
Collaborator in the Series section of La Vanguardia newspaper. News writer and newscaster at RAC1. Journalist since 2007 in the Barcelona area. Movie fan since she can ever remember and series buff since the Netflix boom.