If the ability to stream mindless hours of Friends or The Big Bang Theory or The West Wing wasn't enough to convince you to hand over your money to HBO Max, the streaming service's latest acquisition might do the trick. On Thursday, HBO Max announced that it had acquired the rights to Spirited Away and all other Studio Ghibli films, becoming the first service to do so.
"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," said Koji Hoshino, chairman of Studio Ghibli, in a statement about the deal. "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."
Studio Ghibli is one of the most influential and critically acclaimed animation houses in the entire world. Besides the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away, the collection includes revered favorites such as Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. The new deal means that HBO Max will also be the streaming home to The Wind Rises, which is set to be released in fall of next year.
The impressive acquisition helps HBO Max to diversify its offerings as we head into the "Streaming Wars" era of television. Along with the broadcast favorites mentioned above, the streaming service will also have the HBO library, DC Universe series like Doom Patrol, and original series from J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele, and Stephen King, among others.
HBO Max is set to debut in 2020.