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Official Miyazaki Wave 1 Details

Well not long after our unofficial news story we can now bring you the official details direct from the Buena Vista press releases. Released on April 15th 2003 with an SRP of $29.99 each are 2-disc sets of three Hayao Miyazaki animated classics: Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Castle in the Sky.

Spirited Away

  • 2.0:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer
  • English and Japanese DD5.1 Language Tracks
  • French and Spanish DD2.0 Language Tracks
  • English Subtitles
  • Introduction by John Lasseter (director of Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story," Toy Story 2," "A Bug's Life".)
  • Behind The Microphone - voice talent featurette
  • The Art of Spirited Away
  • Select Storyboard To Scene Comparison
  • Original Japanese trailers
Kiki's Delivery Service

  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer
  • Original Japanese DD2.0 Language Track
  • English DD5.1 Language Track
  • French and Spanish DD2.0 Language Tracks
  • English Subtitles
  • Introduction by John Lasseter (director of Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story," Toy Story 2," "A Bug's Life".)
  • Behind The Microphone - voice talent featurette
  • Original Japanese trailers
  • Original Japanese storyboards
Castle in the Sky

  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer
  • Original Japanese DD2.0 Language Track
  • English DD5.1 Language Track (with new soundtrack by composer Joe Hisaishi)
  • French and Spanish DD2.0 Language Tracks
  • English Subtitles
  • Introduction by John Lasseter (director of Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story," Toy Story 2," "A Bug's Life".)
  • Behind The Microphone - voice talent featurette
  • Original Japanese trailers
  • Original Japanese storyboards
As you can see the only real change from the previous unofficial specs is the lack of DD5.1 remixes for the original Japanese language tracks on Kiki and Laputa (known in the US as Castle in the Sky), something I am sure the purists will be most pleased about.



For those of you uninitiated to these Japanese classics why not take a look at my reviews for Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service on Japanese DVD, while the snippets below from the Press Releases may also be of interest...




ABOUT HAYAO MIYAZAKI...

Hayao Miyazaki has been hailed as an "animation magician," "a stunning visual artist" and "the Disney of Japan." His films are praised for their originality, dazzling animation and epic storytelling, earning him a place as one of the premiere animators in motion picture history.

Although many American viewers are not aware of Hayao Miyazaki's canon of work, he is one of Japan's leading filmmakers and an icon in the field of animation.

Several of his films have been among his country's top box office successes in recent years, including SPIRITED AWAY which is the most successful film ever to play in Japan. Many of his films have become a beloved part of Japanese popular culture, in much the same way that Walt Disney's work has been embraced by Americans.

Born in Tokyo in 1941, Hayao Miyazaki majored in political science and economics in college, but chose to take a low-paying position as an animator at Toei Animation after graduation.

He was a diligent and talented employee who impressed his superior, Takahata Isao, and they went on to collaborate on a series of animated features that included "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Castle in the Sky." They founded their company, Studio Ghibli, during the making of the latter film. "Kiki's Delivery Service" was made soon thereafter. The film became their first widespread popular success and paved the way for expansion of the studio in one large house on the edge of Tokyo.

Many of their animated features that followed were blockbuster hits in Japan, often out-grossing the top international films. "Pom Poko," "Whisper of the Heart" and "Porco Rosso" are among these works. His adventure tale "Princess Mononoke" became a sensation in Japan that surpassed "Titanic" to become the #1 best-selling film in Japan of any film up to that time. "Spirited Away" has since broken all box-office records in Japan and is now the country's #1 film.

Known as a hands-on worker whose influence is felt in virtually every frame of his features, Miyazaki makes films that closely reflect his tastes, interests and concerns. His beautiful animated vistas are alive and flowing, with lifelike color and movement.

Much of this is on display in SPIRITED AWAY, which contains scenes of staggering imagination, from the fantastic, seemingly infinite resort of the spirits to the amazing spirit creatures themselves. His stories contain unusual characters, intricate plots and emotional pathos rarely found in most feature animation, combining with his visual style to create films revered throughout the world by animation fans and critics alike.

Spirited Away English Dub

SPIRITED AWAY features a top-notch line-up of vocal talents. Daveigh Chase, the voice of 'Lilo' in Disney's "Lilo and Stitch," plays the title role of Chihiro, SPIRITED AWAY'S ten-year old heroine. The film also stars Suzanne Pleshette ("The Lion King II: Simba's Pride," TV's "The Bob Newhart Show") Jason Marsden ("An Extremely Goofy Movie"), Susan Egan ("Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure"), David Ogden Stiers ("Lilo and Stitch," "Beauty and the Beast"), Lauren Holly ("What Women Want," TV's "Picket Fences"), Michael Chiklis (TV's "The Shield"), John Ratzenberger (TV's "Cheers"), and Tara Strong (TV's "Rugrats" and "The Powerpuff Girls").

The English language version of SPIRITED AWAY is executive produced by John Lasseter, the Academy Award.-winning** director of Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2." Lasseter states, "We're incredibly busy at Pixar, but when I was asked to help with this I said 'yes' without any hesitation because I wanted to see this film come to America. And I wanted it to happen in a way that would be really respectful of the masterpiece Miyazaki created. He is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time and he has been a tremendous inspiration to our generation of animators. 'Toy Story' owes a huge debt of gratitude to him."

Synopsis

SPIRITED AWAY is the story of a ten-year-old girl, Chihiro (Daveigh Chase) who follows her parents (Michael Chiklis and Lauren Holly) into a seemingly abandoned amusement park. When night falls, Chihiro finds herself whisked away to an utterly fantastic place where spirits are real. Chihiro must learn to overcome her fears as she faces a set of unique challenges in a world as incredible as any ever seen in cinema. A fun and enchanting story for the entire family, brimming with creativity and stunning animation, SPIRITED AWAY takes audiences on a journey filled with the wonder of imagination.

KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE is the tale of a resourceful young witch named Kiki (Kirsten Dunst). Upon reaching her 13th birthday, Kiki must leave home to find her place in the world. Along with her hilarious, outspoken black cat Jiji (Phil Hartman), Kiki flies off to a new town where she becomes the resident witch, using her broom to create a delivery service for a local bakery. Facing the "ups and downs" of growing up, Kiki learns valuable lessons about friendship, trust, disappointment and reward while discovering her own unique talents and a new friend, the inventive and enthusiastic Tombo (Matthew Lawrence).

CASTLE IN THE SKY takes audiences on a fantastic journey to a mythical retro-future full of amazing landscapes and wonderful flying machines. Pazu (James van der Beek), a young boy, finds the beautiful girl Sheeta (Anna Paquin) slowly descending from the sky wearing a mysterious crystal, one that allows her to float in the air. Sheeta can't remember the crystal's secret, but it becomes the target of a band of rabble-rousing sky pirates, and their hilarious leader (Cloris Leachman). Soon sinister agents are after them as well, along with the treacherous man called Muska (Mark Hamill). The chase leads them all to an astonishing castle in the sky, where a long--slumbering civilization wait with incredible surprises.

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