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Despite makeover, Max will remain the exclusive streaming home of Studio Ghibli

Movies like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away will remain available via the reborn WBD streamer

My Neighbor Totoro
Image credit: Studio Ghibli

With the official relaunch of HBO Max as, simply, Max next week — bringing in content not just from HBO Max of old, but also from Discovery Networks as a whole — many animation fans have been wondering one thing: what does this mean for HBO Max’s exclusive deal with Studio Ghibli?

The Japanese studio famously signed exclusive streaming rights over to the Warner Bros. Discovery service back in October 2019, some months before the service’s launch in May 2020, and it was a big deal, marking the first time that the Ghibli movies had been available to stream. But with the makeover for Max pending, it was an open question as to whether or not Ghibli would make the jump onto the new service.

The answer is, thankfully, yes.

In fact, Studio Ghibli has been deemed enough of a draw that it’s named as one of the franchises in the PR announcing what’s going to be streaming on the service from launch through the end of June this year, with the release clarifying that Max “will continue to be the exclusive streaming home” of the studio in the U.S., with all 22 Ghibli movies — including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and My Neighbor Totoro — and two additional documentaries, Kingdom of Dreams & Madness and Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, available only via Max.

Max’s official launch week will also see the addition of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, documentary 100 Years of Warner Bros: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of, and animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, get added to the service.

HBO Max becomes Max May 23.

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Graeme McMillan

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Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.