Among TV fans, the HBO/Max/Warner Bros. corporation is known for kickstarting a wildly unpopular trend: Removing TV shows from streaming as a cost-cutting measure. The latest example cut deep, with Max announcing that Over the Garden Wall will leave the platform on Aug. 31.
Released in 2014, this 10-episode animated show has gained a cult following. With its eerie fairytale story, autumnal story and catchy songs, many people rewatch it each year around Halloween.
In other words, removing the show just before Fall exemplifies Max’s failure to understand its own audience. Especially when it comes to animation, which appears to be a low priority for the current Warner Bros. leadership.
As the news spread on Twitter/X and TikTok, animation fans criticized the move boggled at its timing. One poetically described it as “roughly equivalent to HBO announcing they’re going to publicly execute Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on December 1st.”
Others advised their followers to start stocking up on physical media like DVDs. The removal of shows like Over the Garden Wall makes it abundantly clear that streaming services have no interest in providing a comprehensive library. Streaming bosses will happily remove popular titles to avoid paying royalties to creators.
The good news here is that Over the Garden Wall is actually still available on Hulu—not to mention DVDs and piracy. So this isn’t quite as dire as some situations, where lesser-known shows and movies effectively vanish overnight. It’s still a notably clueless move for Max, though.