Two days ago, Polygon ran a news story entitled “Why You May Never See Studio Ghibli’s Movies On Streaming Services.” The article based its information on a quote the site received from US distributor GKIDS much earlier in the year, which stated “Studio Ghibli does not make their films available digitally, whether for download or streaming, anywhere in the world. They continue to believe that presentation is vital and particularly appreciate opportunities for audiences to experience the films together in a theatrical setting.”
The AV Club took that article and basically Xeroxed it a day later, parroting Polygon’s information but using the more blunt headline “Studio Ghibli Films May Never Be Available For Streaming.” The reasoning was that Miyazaki himself was very traditionalist and slow to adapt to changing technology, and therefore, he would never allow such a thing to happen. This went up yesterday.
Well. Don’t YOU guys feel stupid right now.
WarnerMedia has won the rights to exclusively stream the Ghibli library through their upcoming HBO Max streaming service. Normally I hold my breath a little when yet another HBO Max lockup takes place, given how expensive the thing is going to be, but this time, I’m just relieved all those New York City bloggers were wrong (again).
The quote from Studio Ghibli chairman Koji Hoshino runs entirely counter to the GKIDS quote: “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.”
Confirmed for the launch of HBO Max this spring are Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, Castle in the Sky, and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, with the promise of “more” being possible.