Disney Channel Asia has announced that it will be airing several Studio Ghibli films this 2012. The titles to be broadcast are: Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl no Ugoku Shiro), Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi), The Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime), and The Cat Returns (Neko no Ongaeshi).
The announcement was made via an advertisement aired by the channel, during their 7-hour Phineas & Ferb marathon, held last 31st December 2011. Screening schedules are as follows: The Princess Mononoke (4 February 2012, 9:30 PM), Spirited Away (11 February 2012, 9:30 PM), Howl’s Moving Castle (18 February 2012, 9:30 PM), The Cat Returns (25 February 2012, 9:30 PM).
The Walt Disney Company has distribution rights to all Studio Ghibli titles that did not have previous international licensing, so it is not difficult for them to secure permission to air the titles on their Asian cable channel. This move will hopefully attract new fans to Japan’s foremost animation studio, as well as Japanese animation in general.