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Disney Aquires Sen to Chihiro, Lasseter to Dub 263

peter_gzowski writes "Disney has finally announced that it will be bringing Miyazaki's anime masterpiece Sen to Chihiro (Spirited Away) over to North American theaters. Sen to Chihiro is the most successful non-U.S. produced movie in the world. It has grossed about 30 billion yen ($226 million U.S.), which is more than Titanic (the previous record holder). We can expect it to be here around July." John Lasseter of Pixar fame is lined up to consult on the dub. No voices yet confirmed, but John: I'm available and willing.
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Disney Aquires Sen to Chihiro, Lasseter to Dub

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  • by Chris Pimlott ( 16212 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @09:48PM (#3099661)
    I thought the article was about Disney acquiring another senator... Hollings is annoying enough already.
    • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @11:06PM (#3099878) Journal
      I thought the article was about Disney acquiring another senator... Hollings is annoying enough already.

      Worse than that, I thought they were trading Lasseter to George W. in exchange for a senator.
    • SEN TO CHIHIRO NO KAMIKAKUSHI (Spirited Away) won, a few weeks ago, the Golden Berlin Bear (which is the first prize) at the Berlin International Film Festival. You can check the announcement here []

      It's a very important fact since it's the first time that an animated movie which, moreover, happens to be a japanes animated movie won such an important prize. I don't know how many of you US based folks (I'm italian and I live in Italy, at the moment) heard of this movie festival but it's a pretty important festival here in Europe and the movies which get the prizes are usually considered to be high quality movies. I hope this will help animated movies to exit from the ghetto where they are (childish movies) and start being considered only movies; moreover I hope the prize will help the anime to be considered normal movies and not porn or low quality movies.

      Ok, enough for the rant now,


      PS some more rant ;) I submitted the Berlin Prize story some weeks ago but it didn't make it to the main page, don't know why though. Sic transit gloria Slashdoti.

  • A brief review (Score:4, Informative)

    by stph ( 541287 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @09:49PM (#3099664) Homepage
    This review [] contains some spoilers, don't read it if you like your movie surprises.
    • Re:A brief review (Score:2, Informative)

      by ll1234 ( 167894 )
      There's a ton of impressions on the aptly named "Spirited Away" Impressions page:

      Impressions page []

      Lots of translated German articles from the recently concluded Berlin International Film Festival.

  • When we will get all of the other Miyazaki anime that Uncle Walt bought the rights to.
  • Sorry CmdrTaco, unless you have a SAG card you won't be dubbing anything :P
    • Lots of dubbing is done outside of SAG control. The actors use aliases to get around the SAG.

      That said, I think there's a little weasel that Taco would be perfect for.
  • by tetrad ( 131849 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @09:52PM (#3099679)
    Actually, Titanic had a worldwide gross [] of nearly $2 billion. Sen to Chihiro still has some catching up to do.
    • by Chasuk ( 62477 ) <> on Saturday March 02, 2002 @10:25PM (#3099786)
      The article wasn't referring to worldwide gross, but to the gross in Japan. No, this wasn't made crystal clear, but I think that most otaku (the hardcore anime fans/nerds to whom the article was directed) probably surmised it.

      Otaku would find this statistic significant without requiring further elaboration because they already know that Princess Mononoke, also a Miyazaki creation, was the biggest grossing film in Japanese history until being supplanted by the inferior Titanic. That Miyazaki is champion again is gratifying. :-)
      • Mis-use of 'Otaku' (Score:5, Informative)

        by xylix ( 447915 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @11:47PM (#3099978)
        I think that most otaku (the hardcore anime fans/nerds to whom the article was directed) probably surmised it

        "Otaku" does not mean hard-core anime fan. This is a mis-use common amongst American / western anime fans. Otaku is a word used to refer to someone who is REALLY into something, a fanatic, someone obsessed with something.

        I have lived in Japan for the last 5 years. I have met people who take pictures of trains. They are otaku. My friend jokes that I was an origami otaku when I spent a few weeks making origami during all my free time at work. My (Japanese) wife says her boss is a computer otaku. This is a lighter joking way to use otaku, but it can be applied to any kind of hobby. The word in no way carries any connotations that are exclusive to manga or anime. An 'otaku' is someone who is a little strange.

        Most of the perfectly normal Japanese kids I have known who enjoy reading manga and watching anime are NOT otaku. I have heard of a guy who had finished high school and hadn't looked for a job - he stayed in his room all day with the door closed reading manga, only leaving the house to buy more manga. That WOULD be a manga otaku.

        Now about this story... I am really excited to hear that Sen to Chihiro will be available in English. I recal seeing the trailers for this movie for months while in the theatre to see other movies. It looked wierd but wonderful and the author is legendary.

        • I would say that "otaku" the Japanese word means exactly what you say, while "otaku" in the anime-fan dialect of English means "person obsessed with anime"

          Don't go to Japan and try to use "otaku" that way, but don't try to use it when you talk to your grandmother, either.
          • Literally "otaku" is "[your] house". It's a personal pronoun meaning "you," but quite formal, cold, and distant (see note). People who use "otaku" to mean "you" outside its normal usage pattern (essentially certain types of sales situations) are socially challenged individuals who have difficulty connecting with others. Since this social trait frequently coincides with an intense interest in something other than people (like anime or trainspotting), it's a hallmark of nerdiness, and so "otaku" has come to be the name for such people.

            Note: This shift in meaning from noun (house) to pronoun (you) to noun (nerd) is not unusual in Japanese pronouns. There are about 80 well-known ways of saying "I", about a dozen in common use, and countless more in literary/historical use.

            Let's consider a case in point: young boys refer t themselves as "boku," which originally meant something like "manservent." Since people often refer themselves and others by their roles, "boku" would indeed once have been a word for onesself, in certain circumstances. At some point in the past hundred years or so, it shifted from roughly "squire" to to a general word for the squire-like self, i.e., a young bou. Interestingly enough, the word "boku" can also mean "you," when used by someone else to address a boy; for example, his mother may call him that. (In English, we have the opposite -- parents call themselves what the children call them.)

            Another example is "kimi," which originally something like "prince" (I think), but is now a warm and close "you" for certain social standings, perhaps like the French "tu" but with more restrictions on social use, age of participants, etc.

            A related word for you is "kisama." But don't use it! Even though the "sama" suffix is an honorifi (a step more monorific than the well-known "san") using the resulting "kisama" to an individual is an invitation to a fistfight.

            Japanese is a fascinating language, and has had hundreds of years to evolve nuances of meaning and usage in pronouns, nouns, and verbs expression relationships between people.
        • Alright. I don't call Hacker Otakus "Otakus". I call them "l33t Hax0rz". I don't call Otaku Ravers "Otakus". I call them "candyravers". I don't call Renn Faire Otakus "Otakus". I call them "Fucking annoying SCA people".

          Primarily in English-speaking culture, "Otaku" came from and tends to stick in the domain of anime. The only people that tend to use the word, in North America at least, use it in a reference to Anime fanatics. And anybody who overextends the name understands that its bridge into this culture is from the Anime fans. As a result, on the most part, the only people who complain about Otaku only being used with reference to Anime fans are, in fact, anime otakus.

          I'm a Rocky Horror Picture Show Otaku. But I never really refer to myself as that (Usually I stick to "Rocky Horror Freak").

          And yes, I realize how ethnocentric that attitude is, but the fact that this board is in the English Language kinda limits the jargon in this case. In the english language, the jargon term "Otaku" refers to a hardcore Anime fanatic.

          Except to Otakus.

          *runs to see if this is actually in the jargon file anywhere*

          Crap. Someone wanna bug ESR about this?
      • The article wasn't referring to worldwide gross, but to the gross in Japan.

        From the summary:
        Sen to Chihiro is the most successful non-U.S. produced movie in the world. It has grossed about 30 billion yen ($226 million U.S.), which is more than Titanic (the previous record holder). (emphasis added)

        That's an awfully deceptive context switch.
      • The article wasn't referring to worldwide gross, but to the gross in Japan.

        If you want a bit more trivia, it seems that Sen to Chihiro has the highest worldwide gross of any film that has not been released in the USA (I found it here [], it's at #162)

    • He was talking about gross in Japan. As you may or may not know, prior to Titanic, the recordholder in Japan was another Miyazaki anime, Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke). Disney also imported that film, with Neil Gaiman rewriting the dialoge.
  • by netsharc ( 195805 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @09:56PM (#3099694)
    So, is Disney good or bad? Yesterday we were mad about SSSCA [] and the fact that Disney is one of the few who are going to fuck the country with their bought Senator(s), and now we're cheering about them. In the words of an AC [], 'This is Slashdot, home of the "Evil company X is threatening to restrict our rights! Let's all get together to stop--OOOH! SHINEY!!!"'

    Well call me crazy because I'm becoming too passionate about something offtopic to this discussion, but if we're just going to forget it after one day, no wonder they're going to get away with it.

    • Yesterday we were mad about SSSCA [] and the fact that Disney is one of the few who are going to fuck the country with their bought Senator(s), and now we're cheering about them.

      Maybe "we" should think for ourselves, and not give in to "group think" (on either side of the issue).

      Just a thought.

      • Frankly speaking, I do not believe that either Hollings or Disney have anything but the best of their interests in mind.

        I do not think that Disney deserves the time or money that they seek to get from me. I do not think that I should be supporting a company that so callously thinks of me and everybody else in this country- that they presume that all of us are thieves and that they need to get the government to make it such that their stuff is protected from us.

        When someone falsely accuses me of something, I generally do not associate or do business with them. And, that's what Disney and all the other businesses and politicians are doing by supporting the SSSCA- they're accusing all of us of being thieves. I'm going to do what I can to not put money in Disney's pockets. I was thinking of going to Disneyworld this summer. Now, I'm not so sure. I don't think I'll be going to their movies at all until they change their tune, and very likely all movies because I suspect the other MPAA members are for this bill as well. I don't think I'll be purchasing anything licensed from their properties either for the same reason. I'll make it a point of mentioning that they were the biggest backer of the SSSCA and what the SSSCA is all about when opportunities present themselves- and I've already done so several times this last week. The results seem favorable as the people that I told didn't know this all was going on and they had issues with the idea and with all of what has gone down about the hearings and all.
    • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday March 02, 2002 @10:52PM (#3099845) Homepage
      Just because you hate the chef doesn't mean you can't enjoy the food...
    • Can't we promote things we like while chastening things we dislike? Its not like if Disney makes 100% of its revenue from imported anime they'd dump it into senator's pockets. They'd procure MORE.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm sure it's a better movie, but the statement that $226mil is a bigger gross than Titanic is ridiculous. Here's some actual numbers []. Note that Titanic grossed close to $2BILLION worldwide. Almost an order of magnitude more!

    Perhaps what the poster meant to say is that it has grossed more in Japan. And as usual, the rest of the world scratches its head in puzzlement over Japan's antics.

    • And as usual, the rest of the world scratches its head in puzzlement over Japan's antics.

      Well, we really should cut 'em some slack. They're just in a hurry trying to figure out where to put all that anime licensing money.
    • Whilst I scratch my head and try and figure out how that POS brought to us by Celine (I'm a Canadian, we hate her too) and Leo made so much cash - even in Japan.
  • . . . I'm pretty sure that Titanic Grossed $601 million in the US.
  • by pryan ( 169593 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @09:57PM (#3099702) Homepage
    1. You must not speak English better than a native speaker who is 5 years old.

    2. The dubbing must be out of sync from the movie by at least 1 second.

    3. At least one out every ten words must be a gross mis-translation to add to the humor.

    4. Whenever there is a plot-clarification dialog, it must be mangled beyond the point of sanity and include a chicken-crossing-the-road joke.

    5. The dubber must drink a shot of vodka for every time the end of the world is threatened. Or, one shot every five minutes, whichever is greater.

    6. If there is no humor is in the translation, it must be substituted with a 'momma' joke.
    • Mononoke wasn't that bad a dub, and it was Disney. I don't know who did the dubbing, but overall it was pretty good.

      I didn't much care for the usage of star actors and actresses doing the voices, really, but I guess it was warranted.

      • Neil Gaiman [], author of The Sandman comics, wrote the english dialog. Apparently, he had to spend a LOT of time making sure that the mouths matched up with the words he was writing in, so it's understandable that most low budget dubs don't bother.
        • Personally, I'd rather have a translation that's as accurate as possible, rather than one that matches the mouth movements as closely as possible. I think that Gaiman did a pretty good job with Mononoke, but there were definitely some places where I felt that the subtitled version got some nuances better than the dub did. The best example I can think of was when Ashitaka's arm tried to draw his sword on Eboshi:

          Eboshi: Does your right arm wish to kill me?

          Ashitaka (dub): If it would lift the curse, I'd let it tear you apart.
          Ashitaka (sub): If it would lift the curse, the left would too.

          That's not a huge difference in meaning, but it's important enough that I'd prefer to have the second over the first. Of course I generally prefer to watch movies subtitled rather than dubbed because the original voices are almost always better, but the more literal translations are an important point too.

    • by ActMatrix ( 246577 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:49AM (#3100321) Homepage
      I believe you're mistaken, those are the requirements for posting a Slashdot story.
    • You raise an interesting point: why not skip the dubbing altogether. I'd really like to learn Japanese, not just for anime, but so I could live there too, and who wouldn't want to live in Japan? I assume it's damn hard to learn though, has anyone tried it?

  • Are Bob Goldweight and Gilbert Godfried going to be the voices for the english release ;-)
  • by Anonynnous Coward ( 557984 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @09:59PM (#3099706)
    . . . the only one to have read that at first as "Disney acquires Senator Tochihiro . . ."?
  • Ga'h! It's aCquires! a**C**quires! ! ! !

    Heh, how does the Linux/Geek world look when one of its largest internet hubs misspells something incredibly simple like acquires? Grarr!

  • Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Cat ( 19816 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @10:03PM (#3099717)
    Another purely defensive license, before anime washes over the decks and the S.S. Wish Upon a Star founders.

    So, how many theaters will this one appear in? Eight? Whaddya say guys? How about we go all out and book 100 theaters this time? Maybe a TV commercial or two?

    While you're throwing money around, how about hiring some writers? You know, like the anime companies do? They've got television series for nine-year-olds with better dramatic structure and story quality than some Hollywood theater dramas.

    Meanwhile, in other news, plans were just announced for (dalmatians, dalmatians<105, dalmatians++), Cinderella 3: I Just Want my Pumpkin Back, Your Honor, and Tron: The Musical.

    ..and that Suncoast anime DVD rack just keeps growing...
    • Meanwhile, in other news, plans were just announced for(dalmatians; dalmatians<105; dalmatians++), Cinderella 3: I Just Want my Pumpkin Back, Your Honor, and Tron: The Musical.

      Notably absent is Pinocchio II, possibly because another studio got there first and f*cked it up [].

    • Not to rain on your otaku parade, but movies whose box-office takes are considered "disappointing" by Disney tend to blow the revenues of American theatrical releases of anime out of the water. In fact, even Disney's less fortunate American rivals like Fox and Warner Brothers do better.

      Reality check: anime isn't new, even over here. I saw the American theatrical premiere of Akira in fall 1988. It's nearly 14 years later. Stop waiting for anime to make American animation irrelevant. It hasn't happened. It isn't happening. It isn't going to happen.

      Reality check part two: by and large anime isn't groundbreaking, cutting edge stuff any more than American animation is. It isn't less formulaic, either. They're just using different formulas. You may like the anime formulas better than the Disney formulas. More power to you. That doesn't make the Disney formulas less successful, or more likely to go away.

      There are a lot of reasons to be disappointed with Disney, but the quality of their feature animation group's work (as distinct from the TV group, which is the one responsible for such wonders as Cinderella II and other OAVs) usually isn't one of them. And in Hollywood, "daring" is relative. Out of major American animation studios, they were the first to embrace computers, the first to make a PG cartoon (Black Cauldron) and possibly the first to make a movie without a happily ever after ending (Pocahontas). And as much as I liked Shrek and Monsters, Inc., they were arguably closer to the Canonical Disney Formula (tm) than Disney's own Atlantis was. (With the notable exception of Prince of Egypt, all of Dreamworks' animations are more Disney than Disney, and I suspect Prince only escaped because Katzenberg thought he'd be struck by lightning if he gave Moses a jive-talking camel sidekick.)

      • Re:Of course (Score:3, Interesting)

        by The Cat ( 19816 )
        Not to rain on your otaku parade

        "..but let's start off by trivializing everything you've written."

        movies whose box-office takes are considered "disappointing" by Disney tend to blow the revenues of American theatrical releases of anime out of the water.

        Oh, please. What theatrical releases of anime? Princess Mononoke? Where did it premiere again, a converted gymnasium in eastern Wisconsin? Where was it advertised? Besides, Disney probably considered the Pokemon movies "disappointing." Must be why 12 of them were made.

        Stop waiting for anime to make American animation irrelevant. It hasn't happened. It isn't happening. It isn't going to happen.

        Uh huh. American animation *is* irrelevant, because there *isn't any.* Anime didn't have to do a thing. Except for the Pixar pixel-fests, and the occasional non-Disney film, any American animation is either cancelled or is itself a near-tribute to anime.

        It also depends where you look. Fox just dumped Saturday morning cartoons. Nickelodeon and WB are frantically trying to find a reliable way to compete with Cartoon Network, which practically makes it's living on anime, achieves ratings that routinely smash the rest of cable television, and is now available in over 80 million households; so much so that WB actually pulled Toonami over to *network* television (and proceeded to try to out-Toonami Toonami, and failed, of course, because they don't get it either).

        The only company that is still producing animated films in any appreciable quantity is Disney, and their recent efforts include a recycled version of Snow White (home video only) and sequels to Peter Pan and Cinderella. Sounds like they're doing just great.

        by and large anime isn't groundbreaking, cutting edge stuff

        That's one opinion.

        It isn't less formulaic, either. They're just using different formulas. You may like the anime formulas better than the Disney formulas.

        Then again, I might not. I'll say this: Anime, formulas or not, is written with more skill and attention to dramatic form than most current television shows or films.

        Whatever they are using, it works, obviously.

        but the quality of their feature animation group's work (as distinct from the TV group, which is the one responsible for such wonders as Cinderella II and other OAVs) usually isn't one of them.

        It's not the animation, it's the writing. Interesting example, by the way. With all their millions, could they hire ONE WRITER, ONE??? ANYONE to come up with something better than trying to squeeze a sequel out of "happily ever after?" It doesn't matter if it's the "TV group" or not.

        And in Hollywood, "daring" is relative.

        So is "cutting edge."

        Disney has made it very clear that they would rather do pixels and re-releases, and that they are not fans of anime in any form. Taking Princess Mononoke, and practically guaranteeing it's failure, THEN *COMPLAINING* that it was a disappointment, *THEN LICENSING A SECOND MOVIE FROM THE SAME DIRECTOR* is what causes the question marks.

        The fact is, anime is cool, other (drawn) animation isn't. The reasons for this apparently cannot be grasped by animation/television/film company executives, and until it is, they will continue to have trouble competing.

  • by thesolo ( 131008 ) <> on Saturday March 02, 2002 @10:08PM (#3099738) Homepage
    Does anyone really want a dub of this?? I would rather have it properly subtitled, and shown with the original voices & music. Dubs almost never capture the mood of the scene, or the subtleties of the dialogue correctly.

    Then again, perhaps I'm just bitter because of the horrible dubs made my companies like Funimation to some of my favorite pieces of Anime. Bad translations, awful voice work, and horrible replacement music. Let's hope the same doesn't happen with Sen to Chihiro.
    • I hope and pray that there won't be a dub of this.. have you seen Princess Mononoke?? They butchered it.
      OTOH Ninja Scroll was primo; was that a dub, or was it animated for the English market to begin with?
      • Ninja scroll was indeed a dub that somehow (one in a million!) came out watchable. For Mononoke they at least put the Japanese track/English subs on the DVD (after a good amount of pressure and a couple delays.) Though actually I thought the Mononoke dub was more passable than most. I assume when/if they release this it'll be a dub; I just hope they make the subtitled version available eventually, to appease the literate portion of their viewership. (If you were Disney, would you put a subtitled film in theaters? hah...)
      • Yes, I've seen Princess Mononoke, and yes, the dubbed version is not as enjoyable as the subtitled version, but it was hardly "butchered." The two versions are almost identical, and I recommned watching them both, as the dubbed version doesn't provide a little extra meaning to non-Japanese viewers. In other words, the subtitled version, while providing the superior viewing experience, was a literal translation, and didn't convey some of the ambiguities that Neil Gaiman's "dubbing script" managed.
      • I disagree with you about Mononoke. I thought the dub for that was fine. There were some rough spots, but there were some rough spots in Final Fantasy too, and it was made for English.
    • Yes, I prefer a good dub to subtitles. That way my eyes don't have to flicker constantly to the bottom of the screen to follow the story; I miss too much of the visuals, which is in my opinion the best part of anime.

      I saw Metropolis a few weeks ago, and a lot of stunning, panoramic shots of the city were diminished for me because the characters kept speaking.

      Of course, when watching live-action foreign films I find dubbing grotesque.
    • How do you catch the 'subtleties of the dialogue correctly' with no knowledge of the language and a translation that doesn't completely correspond to the exact text in Japanese and no indication of which parts of English correspond to which parts of Japanese?

      What if you take the subtitled version, dubbed it exactly, and use actors that can give a bit of reflection and emotion? Personally, I find a lot of japanese girl voices to be too high pitched (annoying), and male voices not strong or deep enough (like Vegeta on DBZ).
      • I find a lot of japanese girl voices to be too high pitched

        But that's part of the character. When I watch anime I'm watching *japanese* animation. The characters are japanese people and the story usually takes place in japan. They shouldn't sound like american valley girls and surfers. Part of what I like about anime is seeing (and hearing) a different culture.

        But this is an arguement about translation that has been going on much longer than anime has existed, with both sides having good points. When translating Tolstoy's novels to English, there was a debate about translating the russian street names into common american street names (Main, Lincoln, etc). One said claimed that the novels take place in russia, so the names shouldn't be changed. The other side said that the russian names would detract from the story because they would be unfamiliar and exotic sounding, and when *russian people* read Tolstoy they don't hear that in the names. So by changing the street names you would allow the english readers to have the same *experience* reading the book as do russian readers. I'd agree with the first arguement, but I can understand why someone might agree with the second.

        One anime that I do prefer dubbed is Nadesico. There are just too many characters speaking over eachother to make the subtitles work well -- you can't tell which text goes with which character. And they did a pretty good job with the voice acting in english.

  • [] []

    The plot summary on one page ends with this: "But can she win back her name and return home?"

    I'm not sure that a plot like that would go over too well in somewhere like L.A. Nobody there wants to move back to their parent's farm or trailer park in the midwest/deep south and change their name back to some unwieldy thing that won't fit on a marquee.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...not that it is any more realistic
  • by baywulf ( 214371 )
    So are they going to bring in the tentacle pr0n stuff also?
  • by Ilan Volow ( 539597 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @10:22PM (#3099779) Homepage
    When I first read the title of the article, my mind misread it as "Disney acquires Sen. Chihiro".

    It sounds crazy, but Disney buying out a member of Congress seems somehow plausible.

  • Why in the world is miyazaki going with disney again. Disney has absolutely no understanding of japanese anime and only wants to do crappy releases to discredit it. IMNSHO, disney needs to get out of the animation business. Pixar doesn't need disney. Everything from disney the last 10 years has sucked (I don't consider pixar's movie disney produced). Here's to hoping michael isner is fired and some one with an understanding of movies takes his place.
  • When it's released in the States, the film will invariably have been Disneyfied beyond recognition. Maybe they'll even hire Pixar to add a few cute, computer generated creatures to it. :)

    And Slashdot, should we or should we not support Disney? After all, they are the primary advocates of The Root of All Evil (tm), the SSSCA. (I loathe the SSSCA, for your information.)
    • if you didn't notice, they imported princess mononoke and changed nothing, save the dub.
    • You're right of course. Slashdot is notoriously hypocritical regarding Disney.

    • hmmm.... how can we enjoy the good imported anime without supporting Disney?

      I know --- PIRACY! There's a perfect answer for everything.
    • Princess Mononoke was released by Disney's mature entertainment division, Miramax. You're correct, its dub was excellent; I thoroughly enjoyed it.

      I've been anticipating Disney's entry into anime (using their original name, of course). After all, they're an American Entertainment Conglomerate (tm). And what is the most common philosophy adopted by American Entertainment Conglomerates? If you can't reproduce its quality, buy it out. Disney's formula is obsolete, it's that simple. They must take action to ensure that they maintain their grasp on the market.
      • Actually, I was somewhat dissapointed in the dub. For one thing, I'd heard that Gillian Anderson's voice for Moro was going to be incredibly distorted to be appropriate to the wolf god, but instead it was Gillian Anderson, with a rumbling background, sounding bored. Not the Moro I heard in Japanese. The monk (whose name I've fogotten) had a terrible voice, didnt' fit his apperiance at all. Plus, I like Gaiman, but his script was overtranslated and clumsy. A fansub I saw just called many of the gods by their japanese names "the shishigiri" for the forest god, "the tatagami" for the "demons" because they realised that translations would cause confusion, better to just learn new words. The tatagami wasn't any sort of demon - demon implies evil, while the tatagami was just consumed by hatred, which is different. When I showed the DVD version to some friends, they found it often confusing, and bits like this were the reason. Calling it a Tatagami lets the audience learn what it is by observing. Calling it a Demon God forces an inaccurate idea of what the artists behind the movie were trying to portray.

        Same with calling Jigen a "monk" - which might be the literal translation, but monk carries different connotations for westerners. By using poor approximations of Japanese words, the movie very often causes confusion. Really, it made much more sense in a badly done, blurry sub that left a few untranslatable words in then it did after Miramax and Gaiman got through with it.
  • by uberstool ( 470348 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @10:25PM (#3099789)
    Please suggest that digital projection theatres have midnight showings with subtitles and the original Japanese voice tracks instead of the celebrity flavor of the month voices (like that X-files chick or the guy from slingblade). I already sat through a Miyazaki film with tacky Hollywood dub.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, 2002 @10:36PM (#3099812)
    While I want to see all of Miyazaki/Ghibli's movies released theatrically in North America, I can't help but wonder about the order they are choosing.

    Sen deals with Japanese Mythology (which many North Americans won't know/care anything about), and of course, there's the ghost/spirit angle which will drive the biblethumpers down south crazy...

    Nevertheless, they perhaps should've stuck to some more genuine "crowd pleasers" to get the ball rolling. Frankly I'm amazed that they didn't already do a full theatrical release of Laputa (or Castle in the Sky as they're calling it). It always generates the biggest and best reaction amongst first-time Ghibli viewers IMHO.
    • I agree. I am squirming in my seat waiting for Laputa [] (a decent fan's page here []) to get wide release in the US. Apparently, Disney was going to release it in 1999, then in 2000, now I have no idea if/when they will do it.

      They do also have to deal with the small problem that "laputa" is a very obscene word in Spanish, hence them just calling it "Castle in the Sky".

      I also read that they re-did the music for the American version, because the original Japanese version only had about 1 hour of music in the 2-hour movie, but they feel American audiences can't go more than a few minutes without hearing music in a movie. They were saying how e.g. when an army appears, you have to hear army music, etc. Yeah, makes Americans sound like real idiots. (Ok, you know you wanna respond to that last bit.) The music in the original version is great; it's one of only two anime soundtracks that I just had to buy (the other was Windaria).
  • John Lasseter is also a big UNIX buy, BTW.

    He drew the BSD Daemon on the cover of my "design and implementation of the BSD OS" book.
  • Sen to Chihiro is the most successful non-U.S. produced movie in the world. It has grossed about 30 billion yen ($226 million U.S.)
    According to IMDB [] $226 million would not make it the most successul non-U.S movie. More successful movies include:
    • Crocodile Dundee (Australia), US$328M,
    • The Full Monty (UK), US$257M,
    • La Vita è Bella (Italy), US$229M.

    I'm sure Sen to Chichiro is very good but let's not get too fan-boyish about it, eh?

  • Uh Oh (Score:4, Funny)

    by krmt ( 91422 ) <therefrmhere&yahoo,com> on Saturday March 02, 2002 @11:03PM (#3099872) Homepage
    John: I'm available and willing.

    Rob buddy, you'd just better pray that Kathleen didn't read this one.
  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @11:18PM (#3099913) Homepage

    Is this the same Disney that wants to destroy your right to enjoy your computer hardware and software technology just so they can methods to prevent you from accessing the content you have already bought and paid for? Is this the same Disney that so many people are now telling friends and family to boycott? Is this the same Disney that has bought and paid for Senator Hollings, D-SC []?

    • And, while I would love to see it in the theatres, I'm not going to put money in their pockets by doing it.
  • Lassiter lives in Sonoma, where I live. Maybe I can get a job.

    Oooh, oooh, Mr. Kotter, I can do voice overs!

  • So... doesn't this put this in a bad position.

    From one perspective we have a great movie translated and dubbed into English.

    On the other hand, profits from this movie will go right to back the SSSCA.

    The SSSCA will basically mean the destruction of the Open Source community. Microsoft has a patent on DRM based Operating Systems and even if Linux, at some point, does become compliant with the SSSCA, I am sure MS will not license the patent to the OSS community.

    What am I going to do? I am not going to be watching or buying any more Disney movies.

    I don't think I could look at myself in the mirror.

    I don't know what you guys are going to do but I think you should think long and hard about the situation.

  • Just as long as the dub is reasonably well-done, I think the movie will do well here in the USA. I thought the dub of Mononoke Hime actually quite good considering the translation from the original Japanese.

    However, given the finicky demands of DVD owners, I expect the DVD version of Spirited Away to have both the English-dubbed version and the Japanese language original complete with literal English translation subtitles of the original Japanese. That's why I really liked the DVD version of Princess Mononoke. :-)
  • Gross (Score:2, Informative)

    by Plutor ( 2994 )
    Although this movie has made more than Titanic In Japan [], Titanic has grossed 1.8 trillion [] dollars worldwide. That's a lot. Cartoons do not have the same wide appeal in the United States (or the rest of the world) as they do in Japan. The highest grossing cartoon ever, The Lion King, made less than half of Titanic worldwide.
    • Billion. $1000 million is one billion.

      $1.8 trillion would be about a third of the Gross Domestic Product. *That's* a lot. :)

  • I really hope Lasseter dubs one of the lines in the movie as "rip, mix, burn."
  • "Disney Acquires Senator Chihiro, ..."?
    • "Disney Acquires Senator Chihiro, ..."?

      It's a sad state of affairs that such a thing is the FIRST interpretation of something like this. (Yes, I thought the same thing, and was wondering who Senator Chihiro was, and who this Lasseter person was who was reporting it to "Dubya"....

      Disney's really making a reputation for themselves, aren't they...

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde