Studio Ghibli Films to Stream Exclusively on HBO Max

Courtesy of Photofest
From left: 'Spirited Away,' 'My Neighbor Totoro,' 'Howl's Moving Castle'

For the first time, all 21 films from the renowned Japanese animation house will be available for streaming for U.S. audiences.

The entire animated offerings of Studio Ghibli, Japan's Oscar-winning animation house, will be available for streaming in the U.S. next year exclusively on HBO Max, the premium cable network said Thursday.

In a deal with North American distributor GKIDS, the full catalog of 21 films, including Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, will be licensed for the first time in its entirety for a U.S. streaming platform. All of the pics will be available from the launch of HBO Max in the spring, with the exception of The Wind Rises, which will launch in fall 2020.

"Studio Ghibli films are visually breathtaking, completely immersive experiences," Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS and truTV, said in a statement. "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."

Launched in 1985 by animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli has become world-renowned for its original animated stories of fantastical worlds and epic sagas centered on heart-warming protagonists. Studio Ghibli's films have received six Oscar nominations in the animated feature category, winning one in 2003 for Spirited Away.

Added Studio Ghibli chairman Koji Hoshino: "We are excited to be working with HBO Max to bring the complete collection of Studio Ghibli films to streaming audiences in the U.S. 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 full list of Studio Ghibli films 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, Whisper of the Heart and The Wind Rises

Securing the exclusive U.S. streaming rights for the entire catalog is yet another major piece of HBO Max's growing slate, which also includes all 10 seasons of Friends and production deals with Reese Witherspoon and Greg Berlanti.