An HBO Max subscription is worth it for the Studio Ghibli library alone. It’s the first time Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterworks, like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Kiki’s Delivery Service, have been licensed to a streaming platform, making it that much easier for kids (and adults) to learn that Ponyo, the fishy in the sea? She loves ham.
Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max, told the New York Times that the Ghibli deal was a “serendipitous moment,” as Miyazaki has described himself as a “man of the 20th century” who doesn’t “want to deal with the 21st,” and it was only last year when a representative for the studio claimed they don’t “make their films available digitally… anywhere in the world.” But here we are, with Howl’s Moving Castle available on streaming, much to the delight of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone:
“I knew it was revered,” Reilly said of the news that the Ghibli films would be streaming, but he also noted that the announcement signaled to industry insiders “what we were reaching for, what kind of things we wanted to bring into the fold… When we were closing the South Park deal, Trey Parker and Matt Stone said, ‘Hey man, that really meant something to us when you brought in Ghibli.’”
The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers have done Studio Ghibli tributes, and South Park could, too. As long as it doesn’t involve Cartman setting Totoro on fire or making Chihiro eat her parents. Ghibli might be the one thing Parker and Stone hold too sacred for mockery, though.
(Via New York Times)