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Anime

The Future of Ghibli US Releases 168

ChibiOne writes "Nausicaa.net is reporting very interesting news regarding the US release for the works of (Hayao Miyazaki's) Studio Ghibli. Steven Alpert (VP at Tokuma International, parent of Studio Ghibli) spoke after the screening of "Porco Rosso" in New York and revealed several new release plans. AnimeOnDVD has a complete report." It says "every Ghibli feature film should be released in the US by the end of next year" as well as a widescreen re-release of Totoro. Here's hoping!
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The Future of Ghibli US Releases

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  • by nyamada ( 113690 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:31AM (#8497747)
    Porco Rosso was stunning and the english dub was really quite decent.

    If any of you get the chance, please try to see Miyazaki's work on screen -- I've seen Porco Rosso before on DVD and it's about 10x better on film --
    • Dub not so good (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I was at the screening as well.

      While the print was excellent, I thought the dub was only so-so (compared to the rather good Mononoke and Spirited Away dubs). Michael Keaton as Porco is just wrong - we get Batman cool instead of Japanese Porco's more world-weary cool. Gina wasn't great, and I found Fio's english voice very grating.

      But don't let me stop you from watching this movie - it is just fantastic.
  • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:34AM (#8497772) Journal
    Because I would like to watch one of their productions without selling my soul to the Most Evil Corporation from Hell.
    • by MooCows ( 718367 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:41AM (#8497833)
      There are some Region 2 releases with English subs, like Nausicaa [nausicaa.net]

      You'll have to import them from Japan though.
      • The Japanese DVDs are released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment Japan, which is owned by. . . hold on to your seat. . . Disney. For those that want to wash their hands from any Disney-related company try the R3 (Hong Kong) releases, they're done by IVL.
    • You could always buy the region-free collection from Hong Kong. [discountanimedvd.com] It has (fair) English subtitles, and contains 11 movies, though for some reason they call "I Can Hear the Sea" "Ocean Waves." The translations are better than many Hong Kong DVDs I've seen, though nowhere near the standards that Disney has set. I'd highly recommend the boxed set since it contains several movies that Disney isn't going to bother releasing on DVD in America, including "Porco Rosso," which is still my favorite animated movie of
    • Because I would like to watch one of their productions without selling my soul to the Most Evil Corporation from Hell.


      Well, if that's not possible, I know of another sort of Ghibli [maseratighibli.co.uk] that's at least as enjoyable ;)

      -- james
    • If you don't want to pay a Disney tax then import Region 4 Australian DVDs (PAL formatted though).

      Madman Entertainment and the AV Channel are the local distributors for Ghibli productions, and they usually have dual audio versions.

      Here's a review of the Australian Spirited Away compared to the US and Asian versions (remove whitespace):

      http://207.136.67.23/film/dvdcompare/spiritedaw a y. htm

      The entire Ghibli catalogue is not yet available but it's worth keeping an eye out on Australian DVD review sites, s
  • Disney dismay (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Snart Barfunz ( 526615 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:37AM (#8497800)
    I wish there were some way for these to be released through another studio - somehow the Disney association devalues them for me. But it's great news that the dual language DVD is coming out. I prefer to watch Miyazaki's movies in Japanese with English subtitles, rather than hearing voices which don't fit the characters, or lip-synch properly.
    • Re:Disney dismay (Score:5, Insightful)

      by _bug_ ( 112702 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:01AM (#8498008) Journal
      I prefer to watch Miyazaki's movies in Japanese with English subtitles, rather than hearing voices which don't fit the characters, or lip-synch properly.

      I agree with you in the sense that I like watching the with the original Japanese and English subtitles, but you've got to be kidding me on that lame lip-sync excuse.

      Any decent anime that's been dubbed within the last 10 years has gone through some excruciating processes to get the English dialogue to sync with the lips. More so, I dare say, than the original Japanese dialogue would. There was an especially interesting situation with Neil Gaiman writing the English script for Mononoke. Some of the script had to be rewritten (by others) to get the voices to sync with the lips.

      A few years ago I was given a VHS copy of Serial Experiements Lain vol2 which had been manufactured without subtitles for whatever reason. So it was an English box but only the Japanese audio track. I watched it anyway, having already seen the series, I figured it'd be interesting to actually watch, and not read. It became obvious very quickly how the Japanese dialogue did not sync with the lips.

      I started turn subtitles off on a few other series I have on DVD and started noticing this was not unique to my copy of Lain.

      I think a lot of English-speaking viewers have this misconcieved notion that an English dub won't lip-sync well whereas the Japanese version does. However, I don't think those who feel that way ever took the time to actually look at the lip syncing. They were probably too busy trying to read subtitles.

      Perhaps a few years ago the voice acting on the majority of anime wasn't as good as the original Japanese track. Perhaps this is still true. Japanese voice actors do seem to get more emotion out of their voices, although there are certainly many bright spots in American dubs.

      The English dub for Lain, I thought, was very well done. So much so that I actually prefer the American dub over the original Japanese. The same goes for Lodoss War. Cowboy Bebop, on the otherhand, I can't stand the English voice cast. I don't think anyone but Aoi Tada could ever do the voice of Ed. The same goes for Escaflwone, Akira, Nazca, etc...

      Point is this: lip syncing isn't an issue, and to make it one is just a lame excuse to make up for having no reason at all to stick with Japanese dialogue other than simple personal preference. There's nothing wrong with that, btw, you don't need to make excuses for that.

      Secondary point is this: English dubs can be pretty good* and you ought to give them a chance.

      *Ignore the whole Gillian Anderson as Moro, the English director for Mononoke just totally missed on that one.

      • doh! i before e except after c.

        spellcheck.

        it'd be nice to have an edit feature in /.

        then i wouldn't look so lame with mispellings while trying to make my point
      • Re:Disney dismay (Score:4, Informative)

        by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) * on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:55AM (#8498625) Homepage Journal
        The reason anime lips don't often sync to the Japanese dialogue is that, in many to most cases, animation over in Japan is dubbed exactly the opposite of how it is over here. In America, the voice track is recorded first, so that the animation can be perfectly synced to the mouth movements. In Japan, the movie is animated first, leaving about what they think is enough mouth movements for the dialogue, then the actors have to match their words to the movements as best they can (and most Japanese directors aren't terribly finicky about this. For an example, watch the Japanese making-of documentary on disc 2 of Spirited Away...there's a bit that covers the voice recording--and it's done in a movie theater style auditorium, with the actors matching their movements to the animated images on a big screen!
      • I agree with you that lip-syncing per se isn't a problem, but I think when people say that, they're often using it to summarize a whole range of things - like the OP said, voices that don't fit the character, for example. Also, translated dialog is often a bit stilted, if it's not done really well, and I find reading such dialog less jarring than hearing a voice saying it.
        • I agree with you that lip-syncing per se isn't a problem, but I think when people say that, they're often using it to summarize a whole range of things - like the OP said, voices that don't fit the character, for example.

          General Patton was a little guy with a high and squeaky voice, a stark contrast from the commanding and very masculine voice of George C. Scott, the actor who protrayed him in the movie Patton. Often times, the entertainment business is not so much about fulfilling fantasy as it is about

      • I really like Moro. It was a shift, but it worked well. Was it identical to the original? No. Did the character work? Absolutely.

        It was actually Claire Daines I didn't like as San. In English she wasn't the savvy wild girl she was in Japanese ... she was just sort of bratty. But each to their own!

        In spite of that, the English Mononoke came off beautifully; it really worked as a piece of storytelling. I know others are up at arms about the dub; I'm not.
      • I just thought I would point out that one of the films you mentioned, Akira, actually has the lips match up really well in the Japanese version. This is because they took the more American approach and recorded the dialogue first (though they did still keep the superior Japanese approach of recording characters together and not all separately). Kaneda is a particularly good character to see this in, as he physically overemotes so much.

        The special edition extras disc actually shows parts of the voice record
    • Re:Disney dismay (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Wyzard ( 110714 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:15AM (#8498154) Homepage

      FWIW, the dubs are pretty good. I prefer to watch most anime in the original Japanese (notable exception being the Kenshin TV series -- I like his English voice better) but it's nice to know that if you want to watch a movie with people who aren't used to reading subtitles, you can set the dialogue to English and not worry that the quality will be lacking.

      The US release of Spirited Away includes a second disc which contains, among other things, a look into Disney's work in adapting the movie. They were very careful about preserving the meaning of the dialogue in translation, only making small changes in places where the American audience might otherwise misunderstand. For example, when the injured Haku drops the stolen magic seal, the protective spell comes out of it in the form of a little slug-like thing. Some people in the translation team got confused at first because the slug-like thing looks a bit like a seal (the animal) so they changed "seal" to "wooden seal" in the dialogue to make it clear which object is meant. Especially after watching that, I don't think the Disney name detracts from the release at all.

      • I have to say I was impressed with the dubbing job on Spirited Away. I like watching the original japanese, but I have a lot of friends who like watching it in dub to concentrate on the visuals first, and then sub-titled. And perhaps more importantly, we're pretty much all adults watching these kids movies (good for all ages, but meant for kids), and the dubs for them, not us.

        That and it seemed from the extras on the discs that the people doing the dubbing really do care about a good job. But they need to
      • Re:Disney dismay (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sangui5 ( 12317 )

        Especially after watching that, I don't think the Disney name detracts from the release at all.

        While I can agree that many newer english dubs (WHR, Noir, and Haibane Renmei come to mind) are rather good, Disney's dubs are not amoung them. I'm sure others can generate a more complete list of Disney doing a terrible job, but I'll stick with one particularly glaring example: the opening of "Castle in the Sky".

        Watch it with the translated subtitles on, but the English soundtrack. There's an awful lot of

      • If you watch it with subtitles, the whole ending sequence was wildly redone for the english dub.

        The english version left me somewhat confused- it didnt really sync up well with what the characters were doing. I had to rewatch it with subtitles.

        I think disney had a problem with the ending: perhaps they didnt like the way that the good guys and bad guys werent clearly delineated towards the end, so they chose to make yubaba seem more spiteful and adversarial to the last. (and chihiro strangely overbold)
    • for me, i always give the subtitles the benefit of the doubt with respect to a better translation. i'm sure it's different per case, but it seems to me it's easier to translate to text than to translate to audio that has to fit a particular timeframe.
    • Well, Disney is the only anime distributor in the US that can get partly acceptable theatrical penetration.

      Bandai, Manga, Pioneer and ADV barely get the things in ten screens in the US, I think Disney gets about 150 in the US and at least ten in Canada. IIRC, Disney also gets dub and subtitle prints out.

      Disney is IMO also pretty well on par with dubbing quality with Ghibli products. Every dub has its miscasts, some show it more than others.
  • by andih8u ( 639841 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:38AM (#8497808)
    So who's going to be distributing this? Will it be a major studio with wide theatrical release? Or a quest to find a theatre that's playing it? All in all, they'll still find out that US audiences in general still won't be interested in it as most people still regard anime as "cartoons", so a theatrical release will be a money loser for them.
    • Disney is distributing this -- they have a deal with Studio Ghibli for all their works, I believe.

      I believe that it will _not_ get theatrical release in the US, but will be released straight to DVD, as was "Castle in the Sky" and "Kiki's Delivery Service". More's the pity.
      • I saw Majo no Takkyubin at the cinema. One-off showing to promote the DVD. What the buggers didn't mention was how completely appalling the DVD subs were - English for Hard of Hearing only. Not only dubtitles, dubtitles with SOUND EFFECTS! Yuk!

        I'm told Tenku no Shiro Rapyuta has the same flaws. So did Mononoke Hime, but at least Gaiman's translation was close enough that it didn't annoy much. It's just the moments where nobody's talking, yet the subtitles keep on rolling...

        • note to self: if they screw up Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi in the same way, buy the Aussie edition...
        • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:42AM (#8498461)
          I'm told Tenku no Shiro Rapyuta has the same flaws. So did Mononoke Hime, ...

          You were told incorrectly. There are two sets of subtitles on the DVDs; one is for hearing impaired (literal transcription of the English) and one is a translation of the Japanese, which often differs from the English dialogue quite a bit -- Especially in the case of Laputa, the only Ghibli movie so far which I think that the dub was poorly done.
          • True for region 1. I neglected to mention that I'm in the UK, and Disney screwed up our releases. I am baffled as to why, since by all reports they did a fine job in the UK. Yet the fact remains that my Kiki DVD has no literal English sub, only the sub for the deaf. Doubly baffling is the fact that the _storyboard_ special feature has the proper literal sub...

            If they mess up Spirited Away, then I'll start importing from Australia. Madman seem to take subs seriously, and they make region 2+4 DVDs. Nice.

            • Gah. Correction: 'By all reports, they did a fine job in the _US_.' Then they buggered up in the UK, giving us a DVD identical in all respects save the subtitle. Bizarre.
    • So who's going to be distributing this?

      Disney will. Some films might get a limited theatrical run but all will eventually wind up on DVD with new dubs and the original language track intact - much like the last three Ghibli films Disney put out ("Kiki's Delivery Service","Castle in the Sky" and "Spirited Away")

    • Disney is distributing.

      And I've you would've bothered to RTFA: ;)

      a) all the films will be out by the end of 2005, b) Nausicaa is next, c) some films (which were not stated) may get a theatrical release, d) Howl's Moving Castle *will* be Japanese theaters in July and in the US later e) Mononoke will get a second theatrical release in the US in subtitled form.
      • I got to see Mononoke in the theater the first time and it was an awesome experience. It was my first time ever seeing anime on the big screen and it just blew me away. It definatly helped that I went with a large group of friends who are all really into anime. Mononoke remains one of my favorite anime movies to this day.

        I also got to see Escaflowne in a movie theater and too was a great experience. Too bad more anime isn't shown in theaters.

  • Ghibli releases (Score:5, Informative)

    by platypussrex ( 594064 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:40AM (#8497830)
    If you are not familiar with Ghibli, these are some of the finest animated movies out there, and some would even argue some of the finest movies of any kind. Disney did Spirited Away for the US market, so that's what the Disney comments are about (which have been modded off-topic in some cases... mods with no clue).

    Interesting to compare the dubbing done by Disney to the subtitling done by various fans. I have seen at least three sets of subs, all of which vary a bit depending on the translator. Sometimes Disney's dub makes sense, and sometimes it is just plain strange. Hopefully the new realeases will be better translations, although personally I prefer to hear the original language and read subtitles.
    • True that.

      I like to turn off the sound, turn on the subtitles, put in a Destination Goa CD and smoke about a pound of... well you know. There is nothing like dark psy-trace and Anime.

      Which takes US to the greatest ideas of a friend of mine had before he turned into a IV meth junkie. (btw any drug TIMOTHY LEARY says is bad is REALLY FUCKING BAD even if every Anime was made using it.) Add multiple techno sound tracks to Anime DVD's. Blood, Naussca, Akira, and et al. all need to have a Goa, Techno, Jungle, B
    • The one thing the Disney dubs do have on most other anime is that the voice actors doing the dubs actually act to some degree, so the dubs are actually tolerable, and sometimes even enjoyable, to listen to. The voice acting in most dubbed anime is so strange and stilted that it's painful. It's true, though, that if you want an accurate translation of the original script, that you should watch the films subtitled.
      • if you want an accurate translation of the original script, that you should watch the films subtitled.

        Why would the subtitles be any better translation than voice dubbing? If you really wanted an accurate translation of the original script, you should read the original script in japanese.
        • Lilarcor the talking sword as Haku the river god. Any other reasons needed?
          • Re:Ghibli releases (Score:3, Informative)

            by bellings ( 137948 )
            I think I understand the point you're trying to make, but I don't know if I agree. I don't believe that animated japanese movies are enjoyed only by painfully clueless people who live in their mother's basement, unable to carry on a normal conversation.

            The question was, "why would a sub be an (intrinsically) better translation than a dub?" I imagine there are intelligent people out there who could give valid reasons. Just because most anime fans on this site come off even more clueless than the normal s
            • Well, in addition to it being hard for me to get over Japanese characters with strong American accents (which might just be a British thing - it's probably perfectly natural if you're American) there's still another matter. Dubs tend to be more Disneyfied, while subs stick more closely to the Japanese. They add dialogue in times when nobody's saying a word. As an example, compare Jiji the cat in the English and Japanese versions of Kiki. In English he's played pretty much for laughs, has _lots_ of extra lin
            • Re:Ghibli releases (Score:3, Informative)

              by dead sun ( 104217 )
              One of the reasons is that there are varying lengths to a variety of words in Japanese and English. The dialogue may take 10 seconds to say in Japanese and boil down to about five English words (minor exageration). When this happens, you have to fluff up the English a bit or it looks like a bad Godzilla dub. We're talking no sound for a couple seconds and the mouth is still moving.

              A subtitling is under no such pressure. If the subtitle takes its sweet time to say the same thing, or puts the sentence into th

        • Subtitles can be more accurate than the dubs for a number of reasons. One is that dubs may modify the script so that the dialog corresponds to the lips moving - so they may have to add or shorten the actors lines. Another is that sometimes there is a tendency of sanitizing/deculturalizing the dubs, while the subtitles for the same movie/show are a more correct translation of the japanese. By sanitizing I mean that sexual or volent dialog may be cleaned up, and by deculturalizing I mean cultural references
    • Re:Ghibli releases (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ajs ( 35943 )
      Disney did Spirited Away for the US market

      As well Mononoke (dub script by Neil Gaiman, no less). Mononoke (Web site [nausicaa.net], DVD [amazon.com]), IMHO, was his finest work, and anyone who has not seen it should rush out and grab the DVD.

      Trademarks of these films tend to be: children (usually girls) as main characters; flight as a major theme (both magical and realistic, often in the same film e.g. Kiki's); powerful older women (both good and evil); technology as a force of decay or at least at odds with nature.

      I would say tha
  • Totoro! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nonmaskable ( 452595 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:46AM (#8497883)
    ...let's hope the great job Disney has done so far continues. In particular, no matter what, do not buy the Fox 'Totoro' - everything about it sucks.

    Sad treatment for a movie acclaimed by many as one of the best movies of all time.
    • In all fairness, the only thing that really sucks about it is the lack of letterboxing. The dub itself is an outstanding one...probably the best dub that Carl Macek has ever made. (They probably had to stand over him with a bullwhip to force him to do it. "No!" *whipcrack* "You do *NOT* dub in random dialogue to match mouth movements!" *whipcrack* "You do *NOT* dub in random dialogue when people's heads are turned!" *whipcrack* "You do *NOT* take liberties with the translation!")

      The lack of original-lan
      • Sorry, I should have been more specific.

        The video and audio quality is unbelievably bad in comparison to the Disney work (it actually hurts to say anything nice about Disney) and as you point out the lack of subtitles.

        I don't have a problem with the dub - it is pretty good.
    • The Fox version only suck's if you are a strick Anime nut who nit picks every translated line.

      My kids love Totoro and most I know who have watched it, loved it. I myself think it is not a bad translation.

      My big grip with Disney is there taking so long in releasing there versions to the US market.
      I waited almost 5 years for Kiki's delivery service from the time it was slated to come out.

      But if you want to talk about a terrible hack job on one of Miyazaki's movies, see if you can find a copy of the "Warrio
      • We are used to the Fox dub voices -- and fond of them. Nonetheless, the overall average of the voiice acting quality is higher in the Japanese original. I hope Disney's dub is at least as good.

        While the Fox dub preserved the original sound effects and music, it muted these -- quite severely at points. Environmental noises are very important in this film -- and they are all too often almost inaudible. However, the Fox dub did an excellent job in their translated re-recordings of the opening and closing
  • Pom Poko? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SmileeTiger ( 312547 )
    Any idea if Pom Pokow ill be released? I couldn't see an anime where raccoons run around with exposed *ahem* bits. Perhaps Disney will nuter them?
  • by kyoko21 ( 198413 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:52AM (#8497925)
    I have about 7 region 2 Ghibli DVDs. They are cool. Except for Totoro. The english subtitles were not actually done by Ghibili, but instead, they are the actual scripts for the english audio tracks. The english audio tracks were ok, but unfortunately, the english audio track has added lines in places where there moments in the scene they felt "too quiet" so they added lines in. So when you watch the DVD with the Japanese audio and the english subtitles, you would see lines that you have no audio for. (BTW, this was done by Disney...blah).

    Please Ghibili! Re do the Totoro DVD!!!!
    • Could you give an example of the extra dialog? I have a Totoro DVD that's part of a pirated Ghibli Box Set [moviepie.com], and I've never noticed any problem with the Totoro subtitles. Maybe I'm just dense. To compare, these DVDs have subtitles in Japanese, Chinese and English.

      The box set is great, and I'd recommend it to anyone, except for the fact that the money doesn't go to Ghibli. To assuage my conscience, I've bought the English versions of both Mononoke and Spirited Away, and saw the latter in theaters. I've

    • This was not done by Disney--this was done by Ghibli at the behest of Disney. Jo Hisaishi came back to redo some music and add some more, which he seemed really happy to do.

      Part of the Ghibli-Disney distribution agreement was that Disney could not make changes to their movies. In reality, this means that Disney can pressure Ghibli to make changes to their own movies.

      I don't know if Miyazaki approves of this, but he probably doesn't care as long as it's not changing the actual movie. The agreement also doe
  • WHEW! (Score:4, Funny)

    by JeanBaptiste ( 537955 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @10:52AM (#8497931)
    I first read that as 'the future of Gigli US releases'

    got a little freaked out for a sec there...
  • by mekkab ( 133181 ) * on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:31AM (#8498340) Homepage Journal
    "You get to watch John Lasseter's sicophantic introduction to every Miyazaki DVD over the course of an entire year!"

    (this joke will only make sense to those who have seen the Disney Ghibli releases)
    • A good reason to by a DVD burner and software for editing videos!!!!
      • A good reason to by a DVD burner and software for editing videos!!!!


        Truer words where NEVER spoken! Trust me- the day I figure our this DVD+/-R/RW whatever stuff (i.e.- good burners are $60!) is the day I'm editing out all the crap intro stuff and all the WEAK "bonus features."
        • Err, it's not at all hard. If you know how to work a CD-R(W) burner, you can work a DVD burner. Good dual-format burners are $80-$100 (close enough) and there are all sorts of programs to do the ripping/cutting/burning. (Google around in the alt.video.dvd.* USENET groups.)
    • Oh dear lord, those are painful. Especially since there doesn't seem to be any way I've found yet to prevent them from at least trying to play. Once they start, you can skip past them, but they're not a usual scene... So you can't jump past them by starting at the "Start of Movie" scene instead of "Oh, I'm such an amazing artist, taking the work of a great man and raping it, aren't I such a fucking moron" scene.

  • Good news bad news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chiyosdad ( 759746 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:46AM (#8498522)
    Now, I love Ghibli as much as most people, and it's great that more people will be exposed to it, but I'm not looking forward to the consequences this will bring. Imagine what would happen if these movies attain the popularity they deserve in the states. Will hollywood producers say, "we should stop putting out utter shit, and think about ways to improve the quality of our films to match and surpass Ghibli films", or will they say "holy cow, people are into that bug-eyed japanese shit? We better ride this fad out and milk it for all it's worth"? You're going to have an army of clueless directors using "anime-style animation" to tell mediocre stories about uninteresting characters, and they're going to ruin a perfectly good artform.
    • I don't think the quality of "anime-style" animation has much of a reflection on the quality of anime itself. Besides, plenty of crappy anime exists, you don't see most of it because it never gets brought over to the US by distributors, and anime is doing just fine in Japan.

      I think Disney's already adapted a bit of the anime look for Lilo and Stich, they do seem to have oversized eyes.

  • by yulek ( 202118 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:47AM (#8498538) Homepage Journal
    I have the 4 disk 7 film (Laputa, Grave of the Fireflies, Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco-Rossi, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away) all region Studio Ghibli limited edition collection. It's very high quality and it's all widescreen. The dubbing is quite decent (for e.g. Princess Mononoke uses the U.S. theatrical dubbing which was quite good) but more importantly all the movies have the japanese versions as well (unlike the Disney releases). And the subtitles are actually quite good.

    There's also the 6 disk, 12 movie collection which adds Nausicaa, Only Yesterday, Whisper of the Heart, Pompoko, Ocean Waves, and On Your Mark, but doesn't include Spirited Away (this is a newer collection and my guess is the omission of this film from the collection is due to Disney...) Although I can't speak of it's quality I can't imagine it being anything but as good as the 4 disk one.

    You can get these collection on eBay. Just search on Ghibli. But you'll end up buying them from distributors like this [animediscount.net] anyway (they heave the 7 [animediscount.net] and 12 [animediscount.net] film collections).

    I'd seriously considering grabbing the 7 movie version just to have a non-Disney version of Spirited Away.

    These have to be the most imaginative, creative, and beautiful films ever made. The power of animation taken to full advantage (imagine a live version of Totoro? ugh, i just got a bad premonition...)

    I can't recommend each and every one of these films enough for anyone with a shred of imagination.

    • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:51AM (#8498591)
      I realise this is /., and I realise what we usually think about large corporations and copyright, especially Disney, but seriously: this is Miyazaki we're talking about. These are pirate [btinternet.com].

      So speaketh the man with divx versions of every last Miyazaki film. But I'm buying legit DVDs as they come out, conditional only on there being a decent literal subtitle...

      • yeeech. i feel so violated, so monumentally naive now. i honestly didn't think these were bootlegs :(

        for what it's worth tho, the 4 disc "collection" i have has non of the technical problems mentioned on the bootleg page you point to (although the menus _are a weird hodge podge_). i've watched all seven films and the quality is excellent with no ghosting or blanking out.

        but yeah, if i'm not serving time in prison for owning this set by then, i'll pick up the official releases...

        thanks for the wake up
    • I realize you didn't know you had bootlegs (from your other post), but I'm curious as to how you could have believed that a legit 7 disc DVD collection would sell for $32; especially official Japanese versions. I had purchased an official Japanese version of Spirited Away on DVD from a distributor in Japan before it was released here, and it cost me $50, not including shipping. If you really want to avoid Disney, and purchase a release from Japan, you have to be prepared to spend more than double what you w
      • I realize you didn't know you had bootlegs (from your other post), but I'm curious as to how you could have believed that a legit 7 disc DVD collection would sell for $32

        4 disc, actually, but I understand what you mean. I guess I was just psyched and figured they must not be well enough appreciated or something. Like I said elsewhere: monumentally naive...

        I had to re-purchase Spirited Away, as all of my DVDs were stolen, and I bought the 2-disc US version, not wanting to shell out another $50, and act
  • Ghibli and Miyazaki (Score:5, Informative)

    by yulek ( 202118 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:07PM (#8498752) Homepage Journal
    Miyazaki is just one of the founding members of Studio Ghibli. He's become somewhat of an icon here in the U.S. and as such is attributed as the creator of all Ghibli films.

    Grave of the Fireflies [imdb.com] was directed by Isao Takahata [imdb.com] who also did Pom Poko [imdb.com], Yamada [imdb.com] and Only Yesterday [imdb.com] for Ghibli.

    Miyazaki is definitely the driving creative force at Ghibli but it's important to give credit to Takahata. Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most powerful animated films ever made.

  • I thought they said Gigli; what the hell are they doing releasing that again! /got nothin
  • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) * on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:13PM (#8498836) Homepage Journal
    Don't get me wrong; I like Mononoke quite a lot. But it's Miyazaki's darkest film, made for a teenaged set, not a kiddie set like Spirited Away, the movie for which he won an Oscar. Add to this that the rerelease is in a foreign language, with subtitles (which is usually the kiss of death for theatrical showings)...why are they even bothering? It'll probably show on about three screens and about six people will see it, and Disney will end up another $10 million in the hole. That's not going to do a lot of good for Miyazaki's reputation.
    • Funny, but subtitles weren't exactly the kiss of death for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", and it got an extremely wide theatrical release with the film subtitled in a foreign language. Also, practically over half of "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" was in Spanish and subtitled, and that movie did well at the box office too. True, Miyazaki-san's work most likely won't get a release as wide as those films, but, we'll see.

      Besides, if they lose money from the theatrical release, the difference will be made up w

    • Add to this that the rerelease is in a foreign language, with subtitles (which is usually the kiss of death for theatrical showings)...

      Maybe, except the most popular film in theatres at this time is not in English. The Passion of the Christ is in Aramaic and Latin, with subtitles. Add to that the successes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Life is Beautiful and you begin to see the "subtitles die at the box" mantra fade away.
      • I'd be happy if subtitled films became more popular (and who knows, what with the college anime fandom generation growing up and becoming money-spenders, perhaps they are) but I'm still hesitant to believe that they're gaining widespread acceptance on the strength of just a few isolated examples. Passion is such a hit partly because of who made it and partly because of the controversy surrounding it. Crouching Tiger had mass appeal based on containing story elements for both men and women to swoon over, a
    • "Add to this that the rerelease is in a foreign language, with subtitles (which is usually the kiss of death for theatrical showings)...why are they even bothering?"

      One of the things that is going to happen is that as the American anime fans numbers grow, so to will the acceptance of subtitles. I don't have statistics to back this up, but by having a very good feel on the pulse of the community I would have to say the most preferred format is subtitled. I know there is some well dubbed anime out there, b

  • man, I can only imagine how horrid the dubs are. I've seen pretty much all of Studio Ghibli's older works in Japan so I have no real need to watch the US release.

    Besides, a majority of anime released in the US have issues. I don't know what exactly they do to it (video processing wise), but the colors get washed out and some times, I swear, they tried to change it and make the mouths match the english dubbed track by manipulating the frames or frame rates. Not to mention the weird intermix of interlace
  • by dancingmad ( 128588 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:25PM (#8498956)
    Why is everyone so elated about this? I picked up the three movie set of Laputa, Spirited Away, and Kiki the day they came out as I love Studio Ghibli's movies. And frankly, Disney screwed them up real nice.

    The packaging is substandard. Those of you with Region 2 DVDs know, the Japanese DVDs are much better put together. The menus are beautiful watercolors, the DVD covers look real nice. Unlike the American DVDs, which look pretty cheap.

    Additionally, Disney put in a lot of crap on Laputa and Kiki, including commercials for one or the film. I can see a small anime company feeling the need to do something like that, Disney ought to know better.

    Despite that, there weren't many decent extras on Laputa and Kiki discs. Some crap with the American voice actors, but nothing of real interest. Sen to Chihiro had a great Japanese documentary on the creation of the film, though.

    But the big bugaboo with the three discs is that, at least on the release I got, there were major typographical and grammatical errors. For example, several times as combinations are shown as a;. Other typos and mistakes are abound.

    I love these films, I wish Disney would show them some respect. They're nto shovelware, they're beautiful creations of art.

    I hope the rest of the Ghibli canon (including Umi ga Kikerou, Ocean Waves) is treated better.
    • Oops, forget to mention that the commercials (and a crappy intro by the head of Pixar) play before the movies. They can be skipped, but they play automatically. The Lacster interview just seems to be validating the films for an American audience.
  • Now if they'll just redo the english dubbing of Castle in the Sky and get some voice actors that don't make you try to scratch your skin off, and get rid of that uber-cheesy non-stop TADADA! music that drones ENDLESSLY, I'll be set.
  • Nausicaa.net held an interview with Cindy and Don Hewitt [nausicaa.net] a few months ago that covers a lot of interesting material such as:
    • General Overview
    • Voice Actors
    • Translating
    • Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind
    • Whisper of the Heart
    • Spirited Away
    • My Neighbor Totoro
    • Howl's Moving Castle

    Had you read the interview when it came out you would have already known a new "Totoro" dub was in the works. ^_^

  • by tdelaney ( 458893 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @01:30PM (#8499721)
    Madman December Newsletter [madman.com.au]

    I don't know who's doing what where though - mastering, dubbing, subbing, etc - it may well be that the Madman releases will be sub-only (SBS-subtitled I would presume) if there isn't already a dub, or Madman may be getting the dubbing done in the US, or it may be part of the US deal ... I don't know.

    "Prepare Yourself for the Biggest Announcement of the Century!

    We are absolutely thrilled to announce the acquisition of a treasure trove of Studio Ghibli anime feature films.

    After the success of the acclaimed Madman release of Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli has entrusted Madman with the DVD releases of 10 of their classic films including their newest feature - The Cat Returns.

    Stay tuned and connected for updates and news on release dates and other details about this exciting announcement. In the meantime, make room on your shelves for all of these Ghibli Classics...

    Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
    Laputa: The Castle in the Sky (1986)
    My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
    Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
    Only Yesterday (1991)
    Porco Rosso (1992)
    Pom Poko (1994)
    Whisper of the Heart (1995)
    My Neighbours the Yamadas (1999)
    The Cat Returns (2002)

    Studio Ghibli's animated features are world-renowned for their intricate stories, multi-faceted characters and fluid animation. The painstaking attention to detail is evident in every cell of their largely handcrafted anime features. Its founders - Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata - have long been celebrated in Japan as visionary directors and icons in the field of animation.

    Madman Entertainment plan to release all ten Studio Ghibli titles over the year between April 2004 and May 2005. Theatrical screenings and a Ghibli film-festival touring select locations will showcase the collection. Takahata's GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES - release date 11 February - will also form part of Madman's Ghibli Collection.

    We hope you are as thrilled and excited about this announcement as we are... Stay Tuned!"

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