Miyazaki Wave 1 initial details

Though we are still waiting for the official release details from Buena Vista they have been drip feeding the media with various information on these long awaited Region 1 DVD releases in the past week, so here is what we know so far. On April 15th 2003 Buena Vista will bring us the first 'wave' of Hayao Miyazaki animated features - those titles will be Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky.

Due to contractual obligations Disney have to release these films in their original uncut state, widescreen aspect ratios and original language, though the fans out there will already see that one minor change has already been made - that being a name change for Laputa, which is to be called Castle in the Sky. The reason for this change is due to the word Laputa having an unsatisfactory meaning in the Spanish language which is a relatively large seller in the US.



All three titles will be 2-disc Special Editions that for the most part will mimic the readily available Japanese and Hong Kong DVD releases. Retail is $29.99 each and here is what looks to be a fairly comprehensive feature list for each title courtesy of Amazon.com...

Spirited Away

  • Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Introduction by John Lasseter
  • Behind The Microphone - voice talent featurette
  • The Art of Spirited Away
  • The Making of 'Spirited Away'
  • Select Storyboard To Scene Comparison
  • Original Japanese trailers
Kiki's Delivery Service

  • Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Introduction by John Lasseter
  • Behind The Microphone - voice talent featurette
  • Original Japanese trailers
  • Original Japanese storyboards
Castle in the Sky

  • Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Introduction by John Lasseter
  • Behind The Microphone - voice talent featurette
  • Original Japanese trailers
  • Original Japanese storyboards

The main differences over the Asian DVD releases would appear to be the original stereo soundtracks found on Kiki and Laputa being remixed into new DD5.1 tracks, while Spirited Away takes a step back from DTS 6.1ES to DD5.1. Additions in terms of extras seem to be limited to voice talent featurettes that are almost certainly focused on the English Dubs, while Spirited Away has also gained some Making of featurettes. All titles will benefit from introductions from Pixar head honcho John Lasseter (who is also in charge of these Region 1 DVD releases) and will carry over the main Asian DVDs extra feature, the complete storyboards/final movie multi-angle feature.

For now we shall leave it at that and wait for the final press releases from Disney.

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