Is This Studio Ghibli Blu-ray/DVD Re-release Worth Waiting For?

4 Oct

Image result for studio ghibli logoStudio Ghibli and GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, will soon have on shelves in North America several titles from the library of Studio Ghibli this fall on Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack and on DVD. The former versions from Disney had tiny issues which made them far from perfect and those fans who complained of the “red tint” problem with Spirited Away may well consider this remastered version (if they have not bought the Japanese version).

This new release promises significant upgrades to one of the world’s most coveted animation collections. Part of Studio Ghibli’s catalog of films to get this re-release includes Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke. These will arrive on October 17, 2017. Castle in the Sky and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind will be released on October 31, and The Secret World of Arrietty and Porco Rosso will follow on November 21. There’s no word of other titles like Pom Poko will see a Region 1 side release also. Essentially, this particular set spotlights the works of Hayao Miyazaki.

Each release comes complete with bonus features, and in select cases the bonus features have never before been seen on home media in North America. All combo pack releases will also include booklets with stunning art and statements from the film’s directors and producers.

*Note: Complete bonus features are listed below. All yellow highlighted features are material that is new and/or improved from previous releases in North America.

Spirited Away

T:\ART ASSETS\P-T\Spirited Away\Blu-rayDVD Combo\Product Shots\SAway.Combo.PS.300dpi.jpgWinner of the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature, Hayao Miyazaki’s wondrous fantasy adventure is a dazzling masterpiece from one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation.

Chihiro’s family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress, Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • NTV Special (on DVD)

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • TV Spots

  • Behind the Microphone

  • 12-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements

My Neighbour Totoro

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When Satsuki and her sister Mei move with their father to a new home in the countryside, they find country life is not as simple as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children.

Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride aboard the extraordinary Cat Bus, in this all-ages animated masterpiece from Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki which features the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, in one of their earliest roles.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • Behind the Microphone

  • Textless Opening and End Credits

  • Creating My Neighbor Totoro

  • Creating the Characters

  • The Totoro Experience

  • The Locations of My Neighbor Totoro

  • Producer’s Perspective: Creating Ghibli

  • 8-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements

Howl’s Moving Castle

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From the acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the Academy Award®-nominated fantasy adventure for the whole family.

Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a curse on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure. But as the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, Sophie finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world. Featuring the voices of Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Emily Mortimer, Josh Hutcherson and Billy Crystal.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • TV Spots

  • Interview with Diana Wynne Jones

  • Miyazaki’s Visit to Pixar

  • Explanation of CG

  • The Birth Story of the Film Soundtrack

  • Behind the Microphone

  • 8-page Booklet with Producer’s Statement and more

Ponyo                                                   T:\ART ASSETS\P-T\Ponyo\Blu-rayDVD Combo\Product Shots\Ponyo.Combo.PS.300dpi.jpg

From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, and Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a heartwarming family adventure, now featuring hours of new bonus features never-before-released in North America!

When Sosuke, a young boy who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea, rescues a stranded goldfish named Ponyo, he discovers more than he bargained for. Ponyo is a curious, energetic young creature who yearns to be human, but even as she causes chaos around the house, her father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return Ponyo to the sea. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid, Miyazaki’s breathtaking, imaginative world is brought to life with an all-star cast, featuring the voices of Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, and Betty White.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • TV Spots

  • The Five Geniuses Who Created Ponyo

  • Press Conference: Theme Song Announcement

  • Behind the Microphone

  • Opening Event at Hibiya Scala-Za Theatre

  • Interview with Hayao Miyazaki

  • Interview with Toshio Suzuki

  • Theme Song Music Video

  • Hayao Miyazaki Press Conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan

  • Creating Ponyo

  • Ponyo & Fujimoto

  • The Nursery

  • Scoring Miyazaki

  • Producer’s Perspective: Telling the Story

  • The Locations of Ponyo

  • 8-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements and Lyrics

Kiki’s Delivery Service

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Hayao Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service is a coming-of-age story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt.

It is tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and fly off into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her new journey with her sarcastic black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a seaside village, where her unique skills make her an instant sensation. Don’t miss this delightfully imaginative and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world, featuring the voices of Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo, Phil Hartman, and Debbie Reynolds.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • Ursula’s Painting

  • Creating Kiki’s Delivery Service

  • Producer’s Perspective: Collaborating with Miyazaki

  • Behind the Microphone

  • The Locations of Kiki’s Delivery Service

  • Kiki & Jiji

  • Flying with Kiki & Beyond

  • 8-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements

Princess Mononoke                                                   T:\ART ASSETS\P-T\Princess Mononoke\Blu-rayDVD Combo\Product Shots\Mononoke.Combo.PS.300dpi.jpg

Princess Mononoke is Miyazaki’s epic masterpiece that has dazzled audiences worldwide with its breathtaking imagination, exhilarating battles, and deep humanity.

Inflicted with a deadly curse, the young warrior Ashitaka heads west in search of a cure. There, he stumbles into a bitter conflict between Lady Eboshi and the proud people of Iron Town, and the enigmatic Princess Mononoke, a young girl raised by wolves, who will stop at nothing to prevent the humans from destroying her home, and the forest spirits and animal gods who live there. Featuring the voices of Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Billy Bob Thornton.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • TV Spots

  • Princess Mononoke in USA

  • Behind the Microphone

  • 8-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements

Laputa, Castle in the Sky

T:\ART ASSETS\A-E\Castle In The Sky\Blu-rayDVD Combo\Product Shots\CITS.Combo.PS.300dpi.jpgCastle in the Sky is a timeless story of courage and friendship, with stunning animation from acclaimed Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki.

This high-flying adventure begins when Pazu, an engineer’s apprentice, spies a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, held aloft by a glowing pendant. Both Sheeta and Pazu are searching for the legendary floating castle, Laputa, and they vow to travel there together to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal. But their quest won’t be easy, as soon they are being pursued by greedy air pirates, the military, and secret government agents, who all seek the power Sheeta alone can control. Featuring the voices of Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, and Mark Hamill.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • Promotional Video

  • Behind the Microphone

  • Scoring Miyazaki

  • Producer’s Perspective: Meeting Miyazaki

  • Creating Castle in the Sky

  • Textless Opening and End Credits

  • Character Sketches

  • Additional English Mix of the Film

  • 12-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

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Experience Hayao Miyazaki’s acclaimed sci-fi epic, whose success would lead to the founding of the legendary Studio Ghibli!

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is an epic masterpiece of sweeping scope and grandeur that remains one of the most breathtaking and exhilarating animated films of all time.

A thousand years after the Seven Days of Fire destroyed civilization, warring human factions survive in a world devastated by atmospheric poisons and swarming with gigantic insects.  The peaceful Valley of the Wind is nestled on the edge of the Toxic Forest and led by the courageous Princess Nausicaä, whose love of all living things leads her into terrible danger, as she fights to restore balance between humans and nature. Featuring the voices of Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart, Edward James Olmos and Shia LaBeouf.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots

  • Audio Commentary with Hideaki Anno and Kazuyoshi Katayama

  • Interview with Toshio Suzuki and Hideaki Anno: “Nausicaä and Evangelion! The Whereabouts of the Giant Warrior?”

  • Behind the Microphone

  • Creating Nausicaä

  • 12-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements

The Secret World of Arrietty

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From the creators of Spirited Away and Ponyo, and Academy Award®-nominated director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, comes a gorgeous and adventure-filled adaptation of The Borrowers, one of the most beloved children’s books of all time.

In a secret world hidden beneath the floorboards, little people called Borrowers live out of sight of humans. But when brave and tiny Arrietty is out gathering supplies, she is discovered by Shawn, a human boy, and they begin to form a friendship that blossoms into an extraordinary adventure. This sumptuously animated and heartwarming story features the voices of Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias and Carol Burnett.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • Interview with Hiromasa Yonebayashi

  • Interview with Hayao Miyazaki

  • Arrietty’s Song Music Video

  • 8-Page Booklet with Producer’s Statement

Porco Rosso

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From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a dazzling aerial adventure set in and above the scenic port towns of the Adriatic Sea.

Porco Rosso is a world-weary flying ace-turned-bounty hunter, whose face has been transformed into that of a pig by a mysterious spell. When he infuriates a band of sky pirates with his heroics, the pirates hire Curtis, a hotshot American rival, to get rid of him. But with the help of the teenage girl Fio, an aspiring airplane designer, and a sultry lounge singer named Gina, Porco takes to the skies for what may be his final high-flying showdown.

Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards

  • Original Theatrical Trailers

  • Interview with Toshio Suzuki

  • Behind the Microphone

  • Textless Open and End Credits

  • 8-page Booklet with Producer’s and Director’s Statements

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