(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

For the first time in its 36-year history of making some of the most breathtaking animated masterpieces of all time, all of Studio Ghibli‘s movies are available to stream right now. The Japanese animation studio best known for its adorable raccoon-like mascot and the acclaimed works of animation titan Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli is often written off as the maker of peculiar arthouse animes — too philosophical for western kids used to fast-paced Disney movies, and too anime for cinephiles. Well, I’m here to prove those hypothetical haters wrong. Or, at least, to lend a helping hand to those who are interested in diving into the works of Studio Ghibli, but are unsure about where to start or if the studio’s films will even appeal to them. I can assure you, of the 21 feature films (and one TV movie) released by Studio Ghibli since its inception in 1984, there will be something for you.

So in this week’s Pop Culture Imports, I’m shaking things up a bit and spiriting you away across the Pacific to give you a beginner’s guide to Studio Ghibli movies.

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Studio Ghibli fans, mark your calendars for two weeks from today. On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, the beloved Japanese animation studio will finally release its complete library of films on digital home media in the U.S. and Canada. Ghibli’s North American distributor, GKIDS, has announced through a press release that the studio’s entire catalogue will be available to download for the very first time on all major transactional platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon VOD, Vudu, Google Play, Sony, Microsoft, and Fandango Now.

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Hero Complex Gallery NYCC 2019 Artwork

New York Comic-Con 2019 has come to a close, but if you weren’t able to make it to the Big Apple for the pop culture convention, you can still get your hands on some of the outstanding artwork that debuted there. This year’s collection from Hero Complex Gallery included pieces paying tribute to The Lost Boys, Seinfeld, Starship Troopers, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hellraiser, Halloween, Big Trouble in Little China, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Ghostbusters, and more.

Check out the Hero Complex Gallery NYCC 2019 artwork available for sale right now. Read More »

studio ghibli theme park

There’s no experience more magical than that of watching a Studio Ghibli film. But what about actually experiencing one? Studio Ghibli is bringing to life the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and its other renowned anime directors in the form of its long-awaited theme park, which is now officially in development thanks to the help of local partners in Japan. The unnamed Studio Ghibli theme park is scheduled to open in 2022.

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The 10 Best Animated Flying Sequences

best animated flying sequences

(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the best animated flying sequences.)

The best kinds of animated films sweep you away — whether in their dazzling technical craft, their boundless imagination, or their awe-inspiring execution. And the best kinds of animated flying sequences achieve all three.

In honor of the release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third and final film in a franchise that has given us some of the most breakthtaking flying sequences rendered to celluloid, I have compiled the best flying sequences from animated films. Because of my arbitrary decision to limit the definition of “flying” to characters achieving lift for a significant amount of time, it pains me to say that I won’t be including last year’s brilliant Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but honorable mention goes to that leap of faith. Now that that’s all said and done, here are the 10 best animated flying sequences.

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Crazy 4 Cult 12 Art Show

Every year, Gallery 1988 hosts a new edition of their Crazy 4 Cult art show with artists creating prints, paintings, sculptures and other creations in honor of movies from all genres that have a cult following, whether it’s rather large or very small. This year’s brings the 12th iteration of the show featuring artwork paying tribute to movies like The Iron Giant, The Blues Brothers, Back to the Future, Taxi Driver, What We Do in the Shadows, Trainspotting, Gremlins, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Great Outdoors and many more.

Check out some of our favorite pieces from the Crazy 4 Cult 12 art show below. Read More »

my neighbor totoro returns to theaters

The Catbus is taking us on a jaunt back in time for My Neighbor Totoro‘s 30th anniversary. My Neighbor Totoro returns to theaters for three days only in celebration of the Studio Ghibli classic, which introduced many Western audiences to animation master Hayao Miyazaki.

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hayao miyazaki prints

There’s nothing as magical as watching a Hayao Miyazaki film, and letting it transport you to a fantastical world where dragons soar and castles walk. But a Hayao Miyazaki print done in the style of Japanese woodblock prints may just come close.

For a limited time, Japanese woodblock-style prints of Studio Ghibli movies directed by the legendary anime filmmaker are available to purchase. But better snatch them up quick, because like a certain antique grandfather clock in Whisper of the Heart, at the stroke of midnight, they may disappear.

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studio ghibli theme park concept art

Come 2022, you can be spirited away to the world of Studio Ghibli. An upcoming theme park will bring to life the vibrant and surreal worlds that were first introduced to us in the animated movies by Hayao MiyazakiIsao Takahata, and other illustrious anime directors.

The theme park’s opening is still several years in the future (they’re probably trying to figure out how to make a real-life Catbus as we speak), but for now, we can get a first look at some absolutely magical Studio Ghibli theme park concept art.

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The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray

The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Set will be released by Disney in North America and is now available for pre-order for $224.99. The U.S. release of this set appears to be an Amazon exclusive. Shipping is free with or without Amazon Prime. The set includes the following films: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises. An international trailer and details about bonus features included in the set, can be found after the jump.

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