Warner Bros. has nabbed the exclusive streaming rights to most of the film catalog of the anime company Studio Ghibli, home to iconic writer/director Hayao Miyazaki, for the HBO Max streaming service. First reported by Deadline, the deal was made through GKids, Studio Ghibli's English-language distributor.
"Studio Ghibli films are visually breathtaking, completely immersive experiences," said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer at HBO Max.. "Exciting, enchanting and deeply humanistic, these wonderful films have captured people’s hearts around the world, and we are proud to showcase them in an accessible way for even more fans through HBO Max."
20 Studio Ghibli films will be apart of HBO Max's spring launch. They are: Castle in the Sky, The Cat Returns, From Up on Poppy Hill, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Ocean Waves, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, Ponyo, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, The Secret World of Arrietty, Spirited Away, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, Tales From Earthsea, When Marnie Was There, and Whisper of the Heart.
Studio Ghibli's latest film, The Wind Rises, is scheduled to be added in the fall of 2020.
Notable Studio Ghibli films absent from the announced list are the Grave of the Fireflies film, the Ronja, the Robber's Daughter animated series, and its many short films. The possible inclusion of the company's next film, Miyazaki's How Do You Live?, is also not addressed.
"As a premium content brand, HBO Max is an ideal home for our films," said Studio Ghibli chairman Koji Hoshino. "Upon launch of the service this spring, existing Ghibli fans will be able enjoy their favorites and delve deeper into the library, while whole new audiences will be able to discover our films for the first time."