HBO Max Acquires Exclusive Studio Ghibli Streaming Rights

HBO Max will become the first streaming service to offer Studio Ghibli films when it launches next year, making this a landmark deal.

Studio Ghibli HBO Max Deal Howl's Moving Castle

In what is sure to be a landmark deal in the realms of both animation and streaming, HBO Max is the first digital content platform to acquire the rights of Studio Ghibli’s entire animated feature catalogue of 21 movies. Among these gems are the classics by writer-director Hayao Miyazaki.

The Studio Ghibli streaming rights have been long coveted by all streaming platforms, with neither Netflix or Amazon able to secure them for their own large cinematic libraries. Being the first streamer to offer them in full, HBO Max will become of high interest for anime fans when it launches in spring 2020. The deal was set-up between WarnerMedia’s impending streaming service and GKIDS, who is the North American Distributor for Studio Ghibli’s films. Among those classics are Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises. Other popular Ghibli films include The Cat Returns and The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max, said the following:

“Studio Ghibli films are visually breathtaking, completely immersive experiences. 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.”

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Koji Hoshino, chairman of Studio Ghibli also trumpeted the news when he said, “We are excited to be working with HBO Max to bring the complete collection of Studio Ghibli films to streaming audiences in the US. As a premium content brand, HBO Max is an ideal home for our films. 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.”

read more: Hayao Miyazaki’s Path to Studio Ghibli

All of the Studio Ghibli films will be available when HBO Max launches next year.…David Crow is the Film Section Editor at Den of Geek. He’s also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. Read more of his work here. You can follow him on Twitter @DCrowsNest.