TV Review

HBO Max Is Killing Its Animation– and Fans Are Not Happy

About 40 animated titles have been or are in the process of being removed from the well-known streaming platform HBO Max, and it has the animation community furious. Popular animated shows such as Infinity Train and Close Enough are unfortunately two of the many series being removed. Many fans of animation speculate that one of the reasons for the sudden purge of animated series is due to HBO Max merging with another streaming service: Discovery Plus. With this new plan going into effect, HBO Max and Discovery Plus would become one streaming service.

 The overall goal, it seems, is having these two platforms merge as one to cut subscriber losses with an extensive offering that has “something for everyone in the household,” said Jean-Briac Perrette, who is Warner Bros Discovery’s global streaming chief.

 Owen Dennis, creator of Infinity Train, states his concerns with the sudden removal of his animated series. He states in his blog post, “I had no idea it was coming, neither did any other show creator I’ve talked with, nor any of their representatives.” Dennis also shares some of his personal opinions about the merging of HBO Max and Discovery Plus. He explains to his audience, “I think the way that Discovery went about this is incredibly unprofessional, rude, and just straight up slimy. I think most everyone who makes anything feels this way.”

I mean, just imagine putting all your time and effort into something you’re truly passionate about and sharing it with the world, only for it to be completely destroyed, and possibly never seen again. That’s exactly how almost all of these creators feel.

Of course, creators aren’t the only ones frustrated by this sudden removal of shows. Many fans, such as myself, of animation are furious that many animated shows, including their favorites, are being taken off the platform. Even those who aren’t that big a fan of animation agree that what HBO Max is doing is ridiculous.

“I think it’s not the best decision since they are then losing that portion of the audience,” Mackenzie Kephart, a current student at Holy Family University states when asked what she thought about HBO Max removing some of its animated series.

Another HFU student, Rebecca Palmer, keeps it short and simple when answering the same question, stating, “I think it’s dumb because people watch that crap.” And I agree with both Mackenzie and Rebecca. Since HBO Max chose to remove most of their popular series, what is the point of even keeping the app? Sure, there are other amazing shows on there, but I specifically like to watch animated series, just like many others and now we can’t watch and enjoy the things we love.

I, for one, am very devastated by this, especially after seeing some of the shows I started to watch being taken off the platform. Close Enough, for example, had up to three seasons, and I have yet to watch the third one. Now, I have to search around the internet to see where I am able to watch it. Of course, there are other services that have some of the series on their platform which you have to pay per season, which is honestly better than erasing the entire show completely and never seeing it again, but it could be a bit pricey.

 Compared to paying $14.99 per month to watch every season for free rather than paying around $12.99 to $14.99 per season, I would have rather paid $14.99 per month. It’s strange that HBO Max would take these shows off knowing that there are many fans for these series, and how it would most likely cause quite a stir in the community, but it seems they just don’t care enough about their subscribers.

Animation deserves just as much recognition as any other TV show or live-action film that is on HBO Max. It’s a shame to see most of these animated series leave the streaming service, but I have hope that maybe HBO Max will reconsider its rash decision, and perhaps once it does merge with Discovery Plus, it will continue to keep all of its animated series they were planning on throwing away on their new streaming platform.

Mya Howard is an English major with a minor in art.