A day after a representative for indie animation distributor GKIDS indicated to an outlet this week there were no plans for Studio Ghibli’s film library to come to streaming, the studio itself has now very publicly changed that policy.
In an unexpected turn of events, HBO Max has landed the exclusive streaming rights for all of Studio Ghibli’s output starting with the service’s launch in April 2020 with twenty films from the company releasing on the platform along with “The Wind Rises” later in the year.
The deal marks the first time Studio Ghibli movies have ever been licensed to a streaming platform. Studio Ghibli chairman Koji Hoshino released a statement saying:
“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.”
The films that will be released on the service include: “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,” “Nausicaa 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,” “Whisper of the Heart” and “The Wind Rises”.
Notably absent from the list is Isao Takahata’s masterpiece “Grave of the Fireflies” because Studio Ghibli did not produce the film and therefore does not own the rights to it. It is available to stream on Hulu.